Student Choreographer Honored

  • Makayla Allen

    Makayla Allen

Updated 4/26/2022 9:30 AM

Maine West High School has celebrated numerous accomplishments in its fine arts departments since its founding in 1959 and the most recent was the acceptance of the dance piece "Burn" into the Student Choreography Showcase at the Illinois High School Dance Festival.

The Illinois High School Dance Festival is an annual celebration of dancers at the high school level. Attending the festival includes viewing four master classes in dance, a professional company performance, and a student choreography showcase. High schoolers all across Illinois are given the rare opportunity to learn from and learn about professionals and teachers in the dance industry, while watching them in their own element. Students are not the only beneficiaries of the festival, as it also gives teachers and professionals the opportunity to interact with the newest generation following in their footsteps.


Many different techniques and styles of dance were showcased during the festival. The Student Choreography Showcase finishes off the festival with 12 dances prepared by high school students, giving the dancers the freedom to share their talent and hard work.

The piece featured by Maine West in the festival was choreographed by Makayla Allen, and led by five Maine West student dancers: Katie Delaney, Ashlinn Demonte, Adriana Lee, Bianca Noonan and Kiley White. The dance is performed to the song "Burn," after which it was named, from the soundtrack of "Alexander Hamilton: the Musical." Forty pieces were submitted for the Student Choreography Showcase, with only 12 making the cut.

Lisa Jacob, the Illinois State Dance Festival Chair and Maine West's West Side Dance Company Director, was able to witness the journey that this piece undertook. When describing the choreography, she said, "Makayla Allen's choreography is lovely, and the judges loved it! It made one of them cry! I am so proud of her work, and the dancers' hard work to make her dance stunning."

The Illinois High School Student Choreography Showcase was held on Friday, April 22.

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