KO students dance at ‘The Lab’


Over spring break, some students spent their time lounging on the beach, while others chose to stay home and get some much-needed rest and relaxation. However, for seniors Faith Potter and Sattah Phouthakoun, two weeks off from school didn’t mean a break from pursuing something they both love: dance.

Sattah and Faith, who both gave outstanding performances in this year’s winter musical, “Sweet Charity,” attended two and three classes respectively at The Lab to continue improving their dance technique. “The Lab is a creative space where people can just dance their heart out and learn the basics of dance,” Sattah said. Although both of them went to the studio in Meriden, Conn., Faith remarked that it had the feel of a professional, NYC-style dance studio.

“Each class is about an hour and a half to two hours,” Faith said. “They do a heels class, hip-hop, contemporary, lyrical, modern, musical theater, and tap. You spend some time learning the routine and then perfecting it. You pay to learn a combination and get it professionally filmed.”

Both girls were glad to have the other by their side throughout the experience. “It was very fun, and I was so glad Faith came with me because I was super nervous,” Sattah said. “It was the first thing I did back from my shoulder surgery, and it was great to be with a friend and to cheer each other on.” 

Faith shared similar sentiments about her friend. “Sattah loves hip-hop and she’s very, very good at it,” Faith said, “so I reached out to her and asked if she wanted to take a class with me. We had a really good time and it was great to dance with her outside of school.”

Sattah reflected on her experience and how it lent to improving her dance technique and ability to pick up new things quickly. “It helped with technique, as the more you do something, the better you’ll be at that activity,” Sattah said. “Dancing makes me more musically inclined.” 

Faith was particularly impressed with the environment The Lab was able to create for its students. “It’s single-handedly the most diverse dance program that I’ve set foot in,” she said. “It’s a body positive dance studio; there’s a lot of positive encouragement. The choreographers are from all walks of life and all different backgrounds, and they’re teaching because they love what they’re doing, and they take the time out of their day to go and do something that they love.”

Sattah spoke about the importance of dance in her life, and how she uses it as a creative outlet. “I dance because it’s just another way for me to be free and to express my emotions without using words,” she said, “because personally, I’m not great with saying how I feel, and dance helps me express that. It’s fun to let go and not be so focused on the future, to be more present.”

Faith looks forward to continuing her exploration of dance in the future. “I am majoring in musical theater next year at the Manhattan School of Music, and I also plan on dancing at some studios that are notoriously known for training Broadway dancers,” she said. “There’s a lot of dance ahead of me, so I definitely want to get on my A game as I’ll be doing a lot of training in college.” Sattah, who will be attending High Point University, plans to audition for their dance team and continue pursuing dance as a hobby.

Finally, Faith considered how dance has impacted her own life. “I can say that dance has helped me become confident,” she said. “Dance to me is a form of expression that is unlike anything else. I think it is, above all, an expression of yourself no matter what you look like doing it.”