In front of an audience of a thousand that packed bergenPAC on a freezing January evening, 11 D-E student musicians and dancers competed with students from three other neighboring high schools to become Englewood Idol 2014 and Englewood’s Best Dance Crew. The ninth annual Englewood Idol, which benefits the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund, was also the first to feature a jungle theme, thanks in part to the Idol contestants choosing to perform Katy Perry’s “Roar” as the finale.
As is tradition, the previous year’s Englewood Idol returns to open the show and also crown the current year’s winner. D-E’s Nigel Lassiter ’14 was the Englewood Idol 2013, so he kicked off the show and also crowned his fellow senior, our very own Jacob Seeger ’14, as the Englewood Idol 2014, who reflected on performing and winning the title:
“Englewood Idol may have possibly been the most thrilling experience yet. The experience of performing at the bergenPAC is one that is invaluable. There isn’t quite anything like getting on a stage with a thousand eyes on you, feeling and reciprocating the energy and excitement. On top of all that, being the Englewood Idol is truly unbelievable; however, to me, it truthfully isn’t the most important thing – what’s important was meeting all of the incredible people and performers, and putting on a great show for everybody. For those reasons, I am proud to be a part of the annual production that is Englewood Idol.”
Upper School English teacher and Dance Club Advisor Vicky Frankel, who assisted with the Idol production, reported on the performances and the winners:
“I want to start by saying that I was sitting in the audience when Jacob sang his first song, accompanying himself on guitar, and the audience reaction reminded me of what it must have been like at Elvis and Beatles concerts–with girls screaming and swooning! Since I know Jacob to be such an intelligent student and overall sensitive and nice guy, it was crazy to see this other side of him–how he makes people go wild, even hysterical!! All in a good way as they are admiring his talent and style. When the first judge said he wished for one minute that he could just be Jacob (meaning young, handsome, talented), I heard the men in the audience agreeing!! It was very funny! The judges also remarked–rightly so–on Jacob’s beautiful singing and especially on his guitar mastery and overall musicianship. I was backstage during Jacob’s second piece and he mentioned he feared he ‘messed up’ a bit on piano–but that was just Jacob being modest because he shortly thereafter became THE Englewood Idol 2014–and in a field of fierce competition. Most important, as Jacob said, was his great appreciation for his co-singers and dancers, and it made me happy each time I visited Dwight Morrow High School and saw how friendly and popular our D-E kids had become among students who had, a mere month ago, been total strangers!”
“Likewise, Julia Bront ’15 was a beloved cast member who sang a beautiful song that she wrote, and Elliot Roman ’17 accompanied her on guitar. Her song told the story of a first love, and she sang it in her inimitably pure and sincere style, looking stunning atop her very high silver heels. Julia showed great talent and courage in writing about such a personal experience and sharing it with more than a thousand people!”
“The D-E Dance Crews were a varied and multitalented group this year. Triple Eclipse (Casey Danoff ’16, Hannah Luchs ’16, Grace Bradley ’14) offered original choreography in an upbeat lyrical jazz piece that capitalized on their extensive training and technique. The dance featured thrilling turns and leaps and was an aerobic tour-de-force. Good Girls (Amani Wynter ’15, Wendy Gonzalez ’15, Lyly Mitchell ’16) offered a sensuous hip-hop dance to Beyonce’s brand new songs ‘Flawless’ and ‘You’re Mine.’ They challenged themselves physically, and they even incorporated chairs into their routine. All the girls displayed beautiful lines and shapes. And then along came Dance Dance Evolution, a riff on the name of the video game, and a threesome of immensely talented D-E boys: David Lysenko ’15, Jack Forman ’15, and Peter Kang ’17. Not only are they most proficient poppers, lockers, and break-dancers, but they decided to infuse their piece with humor, and created a mini history of dance that included moves from ‘Thriller,’ ‘Gangnam Style,’ and additional ‘foxy’ and favorite grooves. They brought the house down, with people on their feet cheering and roaring with laughter. And then they won Englewood’s Best Dance Crew 2014!”
“An electric evening with over 1,000 attendees at bergenPAC, raffles, videos, shout-outs, 12 singers, 11 dancers, face-painting (by our very own Visual Arts teacher Rachel Brusky), all of it ably and cheerily led by Kira Tsougarakis ’14, who co-MCed the show alongside two seniors from Dwight Morrow.”
Congratulations to Jacob, David, Jack, Peter, and all the performers!