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In 1997, John-Paul “JP” San Pedro had an idea to create a platform where students could participate in performing and sharing the art of street and commercial hip-hop dance– an identity that would set itself apart from Aliso Niguel High School’s already distinguished Song and Dance team. Sophomore JP and friend, Junior Kelly Vernon, put the idea into reality, as it was first approved and introduced as a club called Dance Appreciation.
Hip hop and street dance were not by any means popularized quite yet, as TV shows like America’s Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dancing with the Stars had not yet materialized into what we see today as the big dance craze.
Fellow Aliso Niguel students got to see what Dance Appreciation was all about as they performed their first show at a pep rally. From there, D.A. has performed almost every pep rally there after. The student body embraced and celebrated this street form of dance alongside the dance team and song team.
For the remainder of JP’s years at Aliso Niguel, he was the artistic director and main choreographer with contributions from fellow club members. They would rehearse at friends’ houses, in the cafeteria after school, or the outskirts of the pit as there was no official rehearsal/practice area for Dance Appreciation. JP San Pedro’s idea was to bring students together that loved and had the passion for street dance, regardless of the circumstances that were limited to a club. The goal was to be able to share this passion and expression of street and hip hop dance.
Currently coached by David Lim and Jasmine Orcaz,, Dance Appreciation is a family that welcomes students to explore their passion in hip hop dance while training to embody what it truly means to “stay humble, stay hungry.”
Dance Appreciation… a celebration of movement.