Dance team excited for upcoming in-person performances

September 25, 2022 — by Minsui Tang
Photo by Darren Guo
The dance team stands in their beginning position on Sept. 19 as they wait to begin performing at the first rally of the school year.
The team has prepared all summer for their season and is looking forward to competitions and school events.

With the help of new head coach Namaad Jackson, the 15 girls on the dance team prepared tirelessly for their performance at the Homecoming football game on Sept. 23. Just days before, they also performed at the rally on Sept. 19.

“Practices for the Homecoming football game are stressful because we have performances [within a week],” senior captain Avani Gupta said. “[The captains] have to choreograph for the rally and Homecoming game, so it’s all about getting everything ready on time. But it’s fun because we’re all ready for our performances to be in person.”

The team prepared in the summer for performances and competitions by attending dance camps and practices every other week for four hours, four days per week. At their camps, dancers were separated into small groups based on their technique level and focused on specific skills. 

“The [dance camps] make sure that we’re ready for the rest of the season after a short break from the middle of May to the second week of June,” Gupta said.

The start of a new season requires Gupta to adjust to her new responsibilities as a captain from an assisting officer, the role she held last year. 

“There’s a difference in the way that I approach practices,” she said. “Being a captain, I can’t goof off as much, and there’s a lot of pressure because I’m the one the team’s looking up to. There’s also a balance between being friendly and authoritative with the team.”

This year, three freshmen joined the dance team, and they have been focusing on getting accustomed to the dance team and adjusting from their old dance studio habits. Freshman Shirina Cao, who joined the team in August, says she “tries to go with the flow and have fun.”

Before joining the dance team, Cao developed her dance skills from her old dance studio, Jun Lu Performing Arts. She participated in the Homecoming Quad Day performance and said she hopes to become a part of the tight-knitted and wholesome community of the dance team.

The large amount of time dedication to the dance team has reinforced the importance of time management, especially for Gupta, as she needs to tackle being a captain, doing college applications and completing school homework at the same time.

However, she does enjoy that the dance team has given her more opportunities to bond with people she may not have interacted with otherwise. She “does not take for granted” the camaraderie she experiences when performing with her teammates.

“I love the friends that I’ve made on the dance team,” she said. “It’s brought me together with new people.”

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