One step at a time

SHS dance team makes it through the struggle of a stressful schedule


Jordin Baker

Junior Abigail Samm practices for dance team. The dance team practices everyday of the week to prepare for upcoming competitions.

Jordin Baker
Senior Matilda Omana dances during practice. Omana dances on all the the teams the dance team offers.

Hearty practice is common with the dance team leading up to events. Within practices, the team’s own versions of stretching and conditioning are done before they begin learning a new move or drilling a previous routine.

However, the practices are becoming more frequent throughout the week and it’s beginning to interrupt the flow of schooling for some of the members. Senior multi-team dancer Makayla Maxwell is currently prepping during the week for all kinds of performances including pep rallies, competitions and basketball games.

“It does get overwhelming sometimes because we run practices five days a week sometimes, then competition season, then we have performances, then pep rallies, so sometimes it does get a little stressful,” Maxwell said.

The SHS Dance Team has three divisions inside of the original team. There’s hip-hop, school and jazz, but within jazz, there’s pom and open dances. According to senior multi-dance team member Megan Halcomb, hip-hop is a bit more difficult and has a stricter synchronization performance. The school team is more free dance-wise. The jazz team has more technique based performances. Then, within the jazz dances, pom is said to be a bit more cheerleading based, being part technique and part the members being able to do their own thing. Finally, open is a mix of all the other teams.
Depending on the team or teams a dancer is on, and the time of the dance season currently going, the practice hours and practice days can fluctuate from one day a week to five days a week.

“Sometimes it doesn’t leave a lot of open time for other things,” Maxwell said. “Like friends and hanging out with certain people.” 

However, to help compress that feeling, the family-like bond on the dance team plus knowing others are feeling the same way as them seems to help with both the flow of practices and the difficulty of the long hours and pressure of competition. The togetherness of the team is strong according to senior Grace Nolan, another multi-team dancer. 

“It’s like a built-in group of friends,” said Nolan. “If you have any sort of problems, no matter what it is, it’s a really open atmosphere, so you can talk about it and get help if you need help.”

Halcomb, along with Maxwell, uses the strength of the team as well. It helps them both through the pressure of juggling school, work and dance. 

“I have never felt like I’ve been in a group in high school,” Halcomb said. “Now they’re like family to me, so I very much value being on the team.”