Editor’s Note:  RamPage reporter Mariama Bah was in the audience when the 2015 MCSM Dance Team brought their choreographed performance to the school stage.  If you were not there, Ms. Bah records here all the exciting dance moves and musical numbers you missed, along with a list of the featured dancers.  Mariama also offers us informative quotes from Dance Team founder Nazyaya Barcelona, and team co-captain Irza  XY, revealing the history of the group and how hard they work to imagine and create entertaining dance routines.


dance team on stage

Photo by Cristianel Gil for MCSM



By Mariama Bah 

The 2015 edition of the MCSM Dance Team is composed of 14 talented members, including two co-leaders.  The membership includes high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, promoting collaborative friendships between upper and lowerclassmen. Below are listed those who performed on May 29th:

DeAsia Fabian 10th Grade

Chanteau Ferguson 10th grade

Florentina Demaj  9th grade

Kaithra Shaw   9th grade

Aishia Howie  9th grade

Crystina Cosme  11th grade

Abisola Akinfenwa  9th grade

Brianna Denise    10th grade

Emanie Paulin   9th grade

Rachel Cedano 11th grade

Kathenne Menclez  11th grade

Dee Sykes  10th grade

Irza Castillo   11th grade
Nazyaya Barcelona   11th grade

The team danced to various r&b and hip hop singles, favoring uptempo hits to excite the crowd. The RamPage asked team co-leader Irza to explain why they selected certain tunes and stage outfits.  “The songs we chose were to catch the audience’s attention as well as to change the type of energy that was in the room,” Irza said.  “Our clothing [included] shorts, due to the hot weather as well as for style and flexibility.  Black shirts because you can never go wrong with black.” The dancers also used Army jackets to, as Irza said, “to give the audience a surprise when we did “Lose Control,”  as well as to give a “hard core” feeling to the dance.” Dancers also paired bright white tank tops with the Army jackets to make the jackets “pop a little more.”

The playlist for the dance team’s performance featured the following recordings:

“Sail”  by Awolnation
“It Won’t Stop”  by Sevyn Streeter feat. Chris Brown
“Official Girl” by Cassie and Lil Wayne
“Feeling Myself” by Beyonce and Nicki Minaj
“Post to Be” by Chris Brown, Omarion, and Jhene Aileo
“Kotch”  by RDX
“Ego”  by Beyonce
“Lose Control”  by Missy Elliot


Words alone cannot fully describe the style of the choreography, but we can give readers some idea of the emotional impact these ladies created with dance moves like the “whip,”  the “nae nae,” and the “body roll.”  Just imagine a tight group of skilled dancers using these steps and movements in solos or in unison backed by some of pop music’s hottest rhythm tracks!

The MCSM dance team did a great job, and the audience loved it.  Everyone knew all the songs so they were singing along. At the end of the performance everyone was clapping really hard and shouting.  Nazyaya and Irza made sure each routine was organized carefully around knowing the number of dancers they had to work with. In the interview commentsl below given by team founder Nazyaya we learn a lot about how she and her co-captain strive to develop their dancers and their own leadership skills.

During our interview, Nazyaya started off by describing what led her to form a school dance club.

“What motivated me to start the dance team was my love for dancing,”  Nazyaya began. “I wanted to implement an activity I enjoyed into my school life, and when I learned you could start your own club, I immediately jumped on the idea to start my own dance team.”

When asked if she expects the club to continue after she graduates, Nazyaya is optimistic.  “Irza(The other captain) and I have a few girls that have been on the team since it started. They have shown [so much] dedication and commitment to the team that we are considering them for running the team once we graduate.”

But just because the final result looks so polished and easy on stage doesn’t mean the dance club hasn’t had to struggle or cope with various difficulties. “There have been plenty of challenges with the dance team,” Nazyaya admits. “First off, we are one of the most popular dance teams that have ever represented the school, and we try our bestevery year to live up to that. Because we have all girls this year, there were a few conflicts with attitudes, but we were able to get through them.”

Because learning how to compromise and get along well with others are skills most people need in college and corporate life as well as in high school, Nazyaya uses her club to encourage these skills in her team members.  “As a leader I try to show the girls how to handle situations that aren’t only for the team but for the real world, she affirms.  “I try to make myself aware of how I react to certain things or behave in front of them, because as their leader they will only act the way they think is acceptable based on their captains’ actions.”

dance team pic mcsm

MCSM Dance Team 2015.


In what ways would Nazyaya like to see her team continue to improve?  “As a team on our third year we’ve already improved so much!  But I do think I would really love for the girls to be more comfortable with their dancing outside of the choreography we teach them.”

Although the Dance Team works hard, Nazyaya wants us to know that there is also a fun, laid back, and purely social aspect to their weekly meetings as well. “We all have our own inside jokes that we make up in rehearsal.  And before every practice we have what we call a” Kumbaya” circle which is where we all sit together and update each other on drama with boys, friends, parties, etc. We just always like to make sure we are friends and family as well as fellow dancers.”

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