A Day in the Life: Dance Team

This article is the fourth installment of “A Day in the Life," a series of articles where a staff member of The Voice gets a feel for what it is like to be a student athlete. For this month, reporter Elizabeth Reinhardt joined the Presentation Dance Team during one of their choreography practices.

Video by Lauren Thomason

Elizabeth Reinhardt, Reporter

They’re National Champions and every time they step on the stage, the audience goes quiet in anticipation. There is no doubt that the Presentation Dance Team is amazing. Their dances seem effortless to the audience, but few know how much work really goes into their routines. These girls put in hundreds of hours of practice, yet we only see the final product of a mere two to three minutes.

So, in order to get a full appreciation of how hard our dancers work, I decided to join the team for a day. From the moment I committed to this story, I was nervous. These girls were the best of the best, and here I was not even knowing what a pirouette is. I knew I would embarrass myself, the question was just how badly.

Although I may have had fears going into studio, they immediately vanished once I met the team. They were welcoming, encouraging, and excited (but that was because they hadn’t seen  my dancing skills yet). As soon as practice started, we dove right into choreography. At first I was totally falling behind, as they were practicing moves they had previously learned earlier in the week.  After about 20 minutes of looking like fish out of water, the team started to learn the rest of their fashion show dance, and slowly but surely, I was able to keep up.

Just because I kept up with the music however, does not mean that my dancing was graceful. I had no idea which arm was left and which was right. When the whole team started with their right foot, my brain somehow computed that I needed to start with my left foot instead. Yet, finally after at least fifty times of doing it wrong, something in my brain finally clicked and the choreography actually made sense.

After finishing the dance, it was time for the middle school workshop. I accepted the fact that Dance Team was going to make me look like a fool, but being upstaged by a ten-year-old girl was definitely not a confidence booster. Before we worked with the middle schoolers however, we had to stretches, and basically this was the point of practice where I learned how inflexible I was.

And although it is clear that I probably won’t ever be in the top twenty of So You Think You Dance, it was fun to be out of my comfort zone. There is definitely a lot more time and hard work that goes behind their flawless performances. “It’s a big time commitment, but we make it work,” says Emily Schultz, sophomore.

While some people may think that the time commitment is a drawback, for these girls, they see it as a chance to spend time with close friends. “I love being with the people that I’m close with and the fact that we’re all just one big family makes it even better,” said senior Stacey Hester, one of the five captains.

Clearly, all the hard work has paid off seeing as the Dance Team took first place in both of their divisions at the Contest of Champions national competition in Florida. Since their return, there has been a Dance Team frenzy; with articles, photos, and even new reports of their success. Yet despite all of their fame, these girls just see being a member of the team as the chance to do something they all love.  As Hester said, “People watch us dance and say, ‘Wow I can’t believe you guys do that,’ but we just have a really good time.”