Ms. Searles Dances Into New Role

Emma Trollip, Staff Reporter

This year, as the Salida High School drama team starts their spring musical The Pajama Game they are welcoming a new choreographer, SHS English teacher Britt Searles. Searles has a long history of dancing. Her dancing career started when she was just three years old. This program continued into high school, where she took college credit dance classes. Instead of taking a physical education class, she would go to the university, which led her to working for a variety of dance companies.  She would also do dancing roles for her community theater. Searles is excited to see how the SHS drama team operates, and how she is going to fit into it.

“I really don’t know what to expect. I’m just excited to work with kids, and get some moves going on,” Searles said. 

Andre Wilkins asked Searles to choreograph because of her background with dance, and because Searles has previous experience with choreographing musicals. In high school, she choreographed the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Searles said this gave her the background to choreograph for the drama team.

“I love the drama team. I was a theater nerd when I was in high school, and I was a theater minor in college. I just love everything about being around the theater,” said Searles. 

The upcoming musical is called The Pajama Game. It was based on the book Seven and ½ cents by George Bissel. It tells the story of a union grievance committee leader and the new superintendent for Sleep Tite Pajama Factory as they fall in love. As they start their relationship, they have to navigate the fact that their positions at Sleep Tite Pajama Factory make them want inherently different things. As it is an older musical, Searles will have to learn how to teach high school students older dance moves. 

“This musical is from the 1950s, and I’m going back and looking at the choreography that was done in the movie and the influence of Bob Fosse. He’s a very famous choreographer, and I’m trying to use that and then update it a little bit so there’s some history but also some new stuff,” Searles said. 

Searles is excited to take on this new challenge. She can’t wait to see how all the musicals in her future as a choreographer with the SHS drama team will turn out. The community can’t wait to see how her perspective shapes and improves the SHS drama team!