News Stories / Conchette Capers 40-Year Tradition Lives Again


By C.S Gilbert


After an absence of 15 years, the Key West High School Conchettes dance team is reviving the traditional, annual variety show, Conchette Capers, at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 15, at the high school auditorium, team director Jamie Guzman announced this week.



Conchette Capers has a noble history, Guzman told Konk Life. “The last show was in production 15 years ago and before then it had been produced yearly for over 40 years,” a real tradition, she said. Conchette members will be “performing a variety of dance styles” and the show “also includes performances from other community organizations such as Poinciana Elementary Choir, KWJFL Jammerz and more.”



The Capers are receiving a lot of support from Conchette alumnae, with 40 from the Class of 1963 up to recent grads slated to open Act Two, said Guzman, who is also a para-professional working in ESE (Exceptional Student Education) at the high school, a KWHS graduate of the Class of ’07 and a Conchette, adding, “As a Conchette, I wanted to be in the Capers” but it wasn’t to be.



The Conchettes as a group is in the process of revival, she said. Once 50 strong, a line filling the width of the football field, membership had dwindled after 2002 to only seven when she took over as director in the middle of last year. “We’ve more than doubled our size” to 18 this year, Guzman said. She is clearly organized — she wrote an advance query letter to local newspapers — and enthusiastic — this is immediately audible in her voice — and is determined to “get back to 50 members.”



Reviving Conchette Capers is a good start. She diplomatically declined to name any performers as starring acts, reporting that “the whole show in general” is the notable thing. “Just having the show come back has everyone excited.”



Guzman said they were “hoping to raise $4,000 to $5,000 by selling at least 400 tickets” at $10. There will also be refreshment sales at intermission. The funds are needed to pay for new hats and uniforms as well as summer camp. Camp for one girl costs $400, each new hat $80 and a new uniform, “custom made to size every year” if necessary for the growing teens, $90 to $100. She hoped there might be a bit left to begin production of Conchette Capers 2015.



“We’re bringing a lost tradition back,” she said.



Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. performance.

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