Dancing With the Staff: Champion Chen

Judges Mr. Mattheissen and Emma Nwagboli commenting on Mr. Hernandez and his crew after their performance.
Judges Mr. Mattheissen and Emma Nwagboli commenting on Mr. Hernandez and his crew after their performance.

By Sam Bailey-Loomis
Buzz Editor

Tonight, in the BHS auditorium, students from all grades, teachers of all subjects, students from other schools, and others in the Branford community all came together to observe the well-known spectacle of Dancing with the Staff.

Teachers included in tonight’s competition for the winning title were Miss Kordek, Mr. Hernandez, Mr. Park, Dr. Chen, Mr. Collins, Dr. Knickelbein (a.k.a. “DK”), Mr. Paluzzi, faculty intern Ms. Jackson, and ceramics teacher Ms. Sinski. The featured host was BHS’ beloved Mr. Matthiessen, and co-host Emma Nwagboli, a senior.

The event, organized by Tina Torello, a senior, served as her Capstone graduation project. All of the funds raised from the event went toward next year’s dance team trip to Orlando, Florida. The dance team assisted all of the participants in their memorable dance numbers.

The board of judges included Mr. Panagoulias, Mr. Rizzi, and Ms.Dunn. The student judges were Justin Reyes, senior, and Sam Freeman, sophomore. Each judge gave the performance a score on a scale of 1-10, and the highest total combined score won the competition.

The full auditorium would likely agree that impressive talent and competition was exhibited from every team. However, there is a little bit of a plot twist. For the first time ever in Dancing with the Staff history, there was a three way tie between Mr. Paluzzi, Mr. Collins, and Dr. Chen. Paluzzi performed a High School Musical themed break-dancing quartet including his son “Jakey.” Mr. Collins participated in an exhilarating trio with Gabby Pantani, junior, and Torello in a modern hip-hop funk by Chris Brown. Dr. Chen, well, in the words of Lil John “Turnt up” with accompanying dancers.

The three-way tie was broken by a dance off between the three top finalists according to the volume of the cheers from the crowd during and after each finalist completed their dance-off. Surely enough , after a very close call, Dr. Chen took the title of Dancing with the Staff Champ.

In closing, we’ll leave you with the words of Mr. Panagoulias  “I should have worn my Thug Lyfe shirt tonight.. I would have been all up in that.”

What was your favorite moment from tonight’s Dancing with the Staff? Let us know in the comments or @branfordbuzz.com.