Dance team adjusts practice schedules to prepare for upcoming competitions

December 18, 2022 — by Minsui Tang
Photo by courtesy of Risha Desai
The Dance Team practices their turns during practice on Oct. 18.
With six dances, the team has been working closely with each other from summer through the school year to learn and perfect their choreographies. 

The dance team will be busier during its competition season this year, ramping up their practice for six competition pieces this year compared to three last year. 

They are all either in the medium or small dance category since the team only has 15 members. Among the six competitions, medium hip-pop, medium pom and medium jazz include all dancers, while small hip-pop, contemporary and lyrical have dancers selected by their coach, Namaad Jackson, who choreographed the hip-pop dance and holds practices. 

Their senior night took place during the home football game on Nov. 4, with each senior wearing one of Taylor Swift’s albums on a crewneck and each member representing a Taylor Swift song. They performed at the football senior game at halftime to “Bang Bang” by Ariana Grande, Jessie J, and Nicki Minaj.

Following this, the captains — seniors Kiana Compeau, Risha Desai and Avani Gupta — have been working with Jackson to drill out competition dances and prepare the rest of the dance team for getting into the mindset of taking practices more seriously.

“It’s been a little bit difficult navigating what exactly practices should be like, especially with our captain authority, because I feel like sometimes they see us as friends rather than mentors,” Compeau said. “But honestly, now it’s better.”

The team will compete on Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 11 and Feb. 25 at Valley Christian, Homestead, Monta Vista and Cupertino, respectively. Their Nationals competition will take place from March 16 to 20 in Anaheim. 

Though practice schedules have been far more rigorous than last year with the addition of three more dances, the team feels that it is necessary to prepare for future competitions and performances. Additional Saturday practices have been added from October to December, which the captains feel is “a lot on the team,” though they acknowledge that they are necessary to push the team to perform well during competitions. 

“We’re all really proud of the team, and we loved our senior night theme,” Compeau said. “I think one thing that brought us together is our love for Taylor Swift, and this was a really sweet way to end the season and move on to competitions.”

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