Dance team prepares for competition season


Picture by Total Image

The dance team participating in the homecoming parade.

As the season ends for all of the fall sports, the dance team works on transitioning into the mindset and routine they need for the winter season, while balancing the action of ending the fall season on a successful note.

The dance team members start to prepare for the transition of the ending of their fall season to the beginning of their winter season. These athletes have been preparing months in advance for these performances and plan to make a powerful entrance at their first competition and basketball game.

The ending of the fall season proves to be one of the busiest times for the team. The pressure to perfect their last performance and effectively work on the winter season competition routine leaves many dancers exhausted. Moments like this sharpen their mentality for the winter season and increase their stamina and endurance. Unlike many sports, the dance team has three seasons within a year. Varsity members Destiny Townsend and Lilliana De La Torre open up about the balance of the three seasons and how they prepare for the transition into the winter season.

“The team has classes to help us evolve in our tricks so we can be prepared for competition season. We sometimes have morning and weekend practices as well. We focus on strength more than flexibility  just because we need more stamina when we perform our competition routines and just routines in general,” said varsity member Lilliana De La Torre.

“The winter season is a little bit harder on you because you have to really know your routine, really know your dance, and it’s a lot to handle because you have to go home and practice constantly. But you can’t count on everybody to go home and practice. So it’s a lot of stress during the competition season versus fall. Fall, you’re just cheering, having fun at football games. But when competition season comes around, it becomes very serious,” said varsity member Destiny Townsend.

As the dancers work to perfect their routines, the coaches Jenny Morgan and Cassie Cowperthwaite perfect the small details of their upcoming winter season. The coaches work behind the scenes of the performance. The coaches focus on helping portray the dances to their full potential, as well as staying on track when supporting the theme of the routine. This year the coaches had decided to have an outside influence create the remixes for the competition season. The varsity team’s theme this year is ‘End of The World’ and junior varsity’s theme is ‘Money, Getting rich’. The coaches rush to find costumes that support the different body types of dancers and support the projection they desire for. The coaches also decided on a permanent look for hair and makeup.

“I really think about what all the dancers need in terms of physical and mental health but also like we need to prepare for costumes, the choreography, the music, everything that goes into it. And then obviously the practice schedule and just making sure we’re working out every day so we have the stamina and strength to actually compete in a two-minute routine,” said dance team coach Cassie Cowperthwaite.

Both varsity captains, Jenna Hamilton and Nicole Pierre, prioritize strengthening connections. These captains also enlighten the dancers about the mentality you need for the ending of fall. The idea of a support system is highly valued throughout the team, due to the intense toll of the winter season. The dance team not only views each other as teammates but as family as well.

“At the end of fall season, I feel like you have to get into more of a mental state for the winter season. The winter season honestly is just a lot more difficult, and you have to be physically and mentally ready to go through it. It can get very frustrating. It takes a toll on your body. You are so fatigued, but you just have to keep pushing through the winter season,” said varsity captain Nicole Pierre. I feel that we all become a lot closer because we’re spending like almost seven days a week together, which can be a lot, but I think like the winter season, we’re just all closer and we actually act more like a family. And it can get frustrating at times, but we all like to get to know each other better. And I have a lot more fun during the winter season.

Many dancers are very hopeful for the upcoming winter season. As they close this fall season with their last routine, the dancers incorporate new ideas and polish their base-lined skills. The positive energy about the upcoming season, as well as the ending of another, proves to be contagious throughout the team.

“I’m feeling pretty good about it. I feel like everyone on the team is really capable of being. I feel like everyone on the team really works well together. So I feel like this team will do really well this season,” said varsity captain Jenna Hamilton.