Dance: From a Club to a Team at La Salle

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Dance: From a Club to a Team at La Salle

Tryouts for the dance team take place on Aug. 21-23.

Tryouts for the dance team take place on Aug. 21-23.

Reilly Smith

Tryouts for the dance team take place on Aug. 21-23.

Reilly Smith

Reilly Smith

Tryouts for the dance team take place on Aug. 21-23.

Olivia Aragon, Staff Reporter

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You may notice the loud music playing after school in the cafeteria, the sound of the dance team hard at work.

The dance team will be transitioning from a club to an official dance team and will be heading into next year as a team.

Previously, the club was unable to become a team due to the fact that a few students in the dance club danced for other public high schools and it is against OSAA rules for someone to be dancing on two dance teams at once. 

“The idea was, if we see how this goes, and if the team continues to prosper and function and have little to no attrition, meaning, they’re staying with it not leaving; we can register the team next year as a fully competing team,” Mr. Chris George said. “[The goal is] to check off the OSAA box and say, ‘yes, we have a dance team here.’”

Last October, La Salle hired a coach for the dance team, Nicole Meyers, who graduated from La Salle in 2004. She has been dancing her whole life and has been teaching dance since she was in high school. “It was my first job and something that I always loved to do,” Meyers said.

Meyers has spent the last few years of her life in Los Angeles “to pursue a career as a professional dancer for a few years.” Meyers said that “when I read that La Salle was looking for a coach and wanted to start a dance program, I jumped at the opportunity.”

One of Meyers’ biggest goals this year was to get the dance club to become an official dance team. The importance of becoming a team over a club is because a club doesn’t have the same “opportunities to compete and fundraise” said Meyers. This transition will also allow the dance team to compete in actual competitions, instead of only performing at assemblies next year.

Meyers said that their goal next year is to “focus on improving and growing our craft while making a splash in the dance team world.”

Tryouts for the dance team take place on Aug. 21-23.

“I don’t believe in cutting anyone who wants to dance,” Meyers said. “There is no required dance experience to be on the team; however, there is a level of commitment that is essential for the entire team’s successes and I would not take on dancers who cannot make the appropriate level of commitment.”

Haylie Gray, a freshman on the dance team who has been dancing for twelve years, said that the team has “a lot of people that have never danced before.”

Meyers’ favorite part of coaching is “watching the dancers grow and gain confidence in their dance skills. I also love watching them perform in front of crowds, you’ll always find me [in the crowd] cheering the loudest.”

Along with being a newly established team, the dance team has many dedicated dancers who all add their own experience to make the team what it is.

Mary Grace Mott is a sophomore who has been dancing for 13 years. Mott has been a part of the club since it started and she dances in the fall and winter. She is excited to see “how far [the team] goes next year.” 

“A couple months ago, we had a day, it was a Saturday, and we all came in, and it was from nine to four and we all just danced, we had so much fun,” Mott said. Mott encourages others to join the dance team because the team has a “good connection” and “you learn so much about what you can do.”

Gray loves the dance team because of Coach Meyers.

“I really love our coach,” Gray said. “She is very encouraging and it’s a really nice environment for everyone to learn and grow… [My favorite memory is our] first performance [when we performed to] ‘Youngblood.’ I love performing no matter where it is.”

“It’s just really fun,” Gray said. “And it’s really good for your mind and your body.”

Ahna Petersen is a freshman at La Salle who has been dancing since she was 3. Her favorite part of being on the dance team is the team. She said,“all the girls on the dance team are super nice.” 

“[Coach Meyers] is super nice, she’s very helpful, and she just works with you and tries to figure out what’s best for the team,” Petersen said. “She knows we can do it, [and] she has a lot of [faith in us].”

The dance team recently performed at the La Salle talent show and at the Night on Broadway.

“You can tell there’s this mutual respect between the dance team and the student body,” Mr. George said. “There’s been a captive audience whenever they’ve performed and they have been well received.”