I’ve been sparkling and shining for all of high school, and this week will be the last time in front of the home crowd. Freshman Keri was really nervous when regions was at home and I still am, but I now look forward to those feelings. While most people are excited about the games, for dance team members, it’s our biggest week of the year too.
Here are five things to know about the dance team during their regional competition:
1. It’s not easy. We had tryouts last May and started practicing nine hours a week once school started. During February it’s been 12 hours. Dancers run stadiums and sprints to build endurance, we do conditioning and strength to be controlled. Everyone knows basketball players work hard but the halftime show isn’t just thrown together these dancers are dedicated and work for it.
2. Doing flip and tricks comes with a price. A dancer’s goal is to make a routine look easy but it is very clear that it is anything but that. Many members of the dance team have hurt their backs, knees, and hips as they strive to do new and cool tricks in their routines.
3. The dance team’s regions routine is very different than the regular halftime performances. This routine is about six minutes long and includes extravagant backdrops and costume changes. Our choreographer Latoyia (from the Golden State Warriors dance team) taught us the routine in October and since then we’ve been cleaning and changing the routine to get it adjudication ready.
4. We revealed our regions routine to the town a week before adjudication. The dance team’s annual Spring Show is where we perform all our regular routines, ending with our tournament routine. At this event, the region’s routine is mock judged to help us get an estimated rating and fix any problems we had. Although there is a public showing, the regions routine theme is top secret. No one is allowed to videotape at this event in order to keep it hidden from other teams and surprise others in the audience.
5. Like other competitions there are lots of rules. The backdrop must be smaller than a certain length and height. Every prop, backdrop, and dancer must be off the floor in 6 minutes and 30 seconds or the judges will take off points from the routine. Dance teams are judged on everything from music, costume changes, and choreography but don’t compete for first, second, or third place. Instead each team is given a rating allowing each team the ability to get the highest rating, regardless of how the other teams do. If the judges give you a rating anything below 70 it’s called comments which is the lowest rating, next is good (70-79), then excellent (80-89), lastly 90 and above is the highest rating of a superior. The past six years the K-Highlites dance team has earned a superior rating.