Springfest: A night under the stars
Wilsonville High School's 24th Springfest performance will captivate the audience in a starlit evening with this year's Springfest Court dancing under the "Starry Night" theme.
"In the past they've done big themes, and I like the simplicity of it and how special that can be in the moment. I think it's classy," said Syndie Jersey, who's on the 2019 Springfest Court.
The Springfest Court is composed of 16 seniors — eight princesses and princes — who went through an extensive application process earlier this year and were selected to take the stage for the April 26 performance.
After weekly rehearsals of curtseys, bows and a ballroom and fast dance, Springfest Choreographer BJ Cerny says this group of princesses and princes are advancing well.
"This group learns pretty fast, but sometimes that means they're not as good at cleaning the fine points," Cerny said. "I will simply have to keep drilling those into them until the performance, but in a way that keeps it fun for them since many have never danced before."
The court will perform two dances to "Never Enough" by Loren Allred and "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen.
"The guys seem to be a daring group. The fast song traditionally allows the guys to do their own solo that they make up," Cerny said. "This was the first group in a long time that went for it and at least tried something the first time we got to that section. Some years it's taken a few of the guys a couple weeks to even try anything, so that was a very pleasant surprise for me."
Jersey, who's watched the performance since middle school, is most looking forward to making a lasting memory by performing in one of the school's oldest traditions.
She says this experience has been particularly special because both she and her boyfriend, Trevor Antonson, were selected to be dance partners on the court.
"I think it's special and fun to do it with him. It makes the experience so much better," she said. "He's very athletic and into sports. I have done theater before so I have danced a little but … this is very different for me."
Jersey's also looking forward to wearing her blush pink gown crafted by Wilsonville resident Lynn Olszewski-Adams, who's been hand-sewing the Springfest gowns out of her home for 19 years. Her daughter graduated from WHS in 2000, and while Olszewski-Adams doesn't sew clothing for a living, it is one of her biggest hobbies. She even sewed her own clothes when she was younger.
"I always had something nobody else had (and) I always loved doing it," she said.
Olszewski-Adams is now retired and though she claims to sometimes be even busier now, she still finds time to craft the gowns, which easily take more than 10 hours a dress, she says.
"I, in a way, feel privileged to be doing this," Olszewski-Adams said. "I really strive for quality, and I really want the girls to be totally happy and feel like the princesses they are."
Aside from the dances, there also will be a talent show.
This year's acts include original songs, a student-choreographed dance solo and a stand-up comic.
Freshman Trey Arzie, who will perform a two-minute comedy skit making fun of how hard it is to be a freshman, is looking forward to a new challege: performing in front of parents.
"I like making people laugh, and I think it's a good way to do it," he said.
Arzie has performed this comedy act in front of a group of about 1,000 people during a youth group talent show and is looking forward to performing the act for his local high school community.
"It's special and amazing to see just how talented (the) kids are," Cerny said. "The importance of this tradition is how it's shared with the community. It doesn't matter if you have a student at Wilsonville. We invite and welcome all to come enjoy a night of student talent that differs from school program concerts."
The WHS student body will vote for Springfest king and queen the week leading up to the performance and the winners will be crowned the night of the event.
Springfest will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, in the main gym. The event is free.
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26
Where: Wilsonville High School main gym