Dance Your Way to the J-DHS Musical!

Lucy Falso and Abby Palin

Staff Writers

“Footloose” is coming to Jamesville-DeWitt High School with a modern spin on Feb. 9, 10, and 11.  This version is more in line with the 2011 remake, rather than the classic movie with Kevin Bacon, which came out in 1984.  Tickets are available for $12 per person.  They can be obtained at and in The Auditorium Lobby on Jan. 14, 18, 28, and Feb. 2.  Tickets will also be sold during lunches as the show gets closer.

The students of J-DHS are performing the musical, “Footloose,” for the second time since 2005.  The production staff of music director Elizabeth Quackenbush, director Shawn Forster, and producer Brenda Neuss are all working together to make sure that the performance runs smoothly.   

For the first time the production doesn’t have a paid choreographer and two students were asked to help.   Instead, the director Shawn Forster, is working with two experienced dancers, senior Jamie Rieger and junior Jenna Vespi. Mr. Forster finds dances online from different productions of “Footloose” and shows the steps to Vespi and Rieger. Vespi and Rieger are in charge of teaching the entire choreography to the cast.

Senior Kristina Bell is the star, Ariel in the J-DHS production and is excited to play the part.  “It has some deeper themes,” said Bell, “but also some funny, light-hearted scenes as well.”  Bell is most eager to thank her parents on opening night for being there for her throughout her four years of J-DHS productions.

Junior Colin Palladino is playing the lead character of Wren.  Originally, the part was supposed to be played by senior Nathan Fathers, but due to mono, he had to drop out of the musical because he was missing too many practices.  Palladino had to quickly learn the part due to the unexpected switch in characters.  He likes all of the dancing that is incorporated, but is very nervous about being able to learn all of his lines in time for the show.  “I think the most stressful part is being up on stage in front of all of my friends,” said Palladino.    

Mrs. Quackenbush chose “Footloose” because she thought it would be fun and upbeat for the kids and there would be a lot of opportunities to have the students involved.  She is enjoying the process of getting the musical to where it needs to be for opening night.  “I like those rehearsals when we get to review what we’ve already done,” said Mrs. Quackenbush, “but we get to go in and clean it and take it all apart and put it back together.”

Tickets for the musical can be purchased on the following website: