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Spirit’s fall dance team takes on a new year

Erin Clark, Staff Writer

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Who’s ready for a new exciting halftime performance? Who’s ready for the Friday nights under the lights? The girl’s who are called the Spirit’s are! The season started in August with practices in the Mayo gym led by the two captains Brianna VanDyke and Shannon Miller. The team fought for turf time to practice on before games, and once the volleyball season started they were fighting for gym space, but that didn’t stop them from getting better and coming up with other ways to practice; they even went through their routines at door 6. The head coach for the team, Jennifer Zuelli, a math teacher at Mayo High School, is very involved with the team, planning all of the practices, handling all the logistics, and managing performances at the games. Mostly she is in charge of having fun team events.
This year the girls focused on how to be better as one team rather than individual dancers, making the dances more unified, particularly by focusing on making the timing of the moves the same. To help get the season up and running, Brianna and Shannon choreographed the dances with help from junior team mates, and they turned out really skilled and eye-catching. The routines included upbeat songs that everyone knows and exciting dances with eye catching moves. The team dances at four soccer games and at four football games. The girls march in the Homecoming parade, throwing candy and shaking their poms. Also outside of dancing at halftime, they decided to go as a team and cheer on cancer survivors or people that have breast cancer at the Join the Journey Walk. It was a 10k walk to support women who have or had breast cancer. The team also dances at the pep fests and has one showcase with all the three high school dance teams: Century, John Marshall, and Mayo. This is where they perform all the routines for the families, friends and each other.

During the season the team bonded through team dinners, sleepovers, decorating the float for the parade, and getting ready together before the game. This season has consisted of a lot of hard work and dedication on everyone’s part: practices to prepare the team, uniform pickups, so everyone looks the same, and a rare morning practice before school to get everyone ready to dance at soccer or football games. The captains were truly dedicated to making this a great season. “A main goal for the season was to please the crowd with fun songs and moves, also [to] have tons of fun while doing it,” said captain Brianna VanDyke. Overall the team has created a truly fun environment and continues to do what they love to do.
Everything this team prepares for leads up to eight games, two pep fests, and one showcase. This creates a sense of anticipation throughout the week. The week normally starts with a Monday night practice and that turns to an after-school practice on Tuesday, then possibly a morning practice on Thursday to prep for the soccer game performance that night. This all leads up to the exciting Friday night under the lights at the football game on Friday. Getting ready together, facepainting, tailgating, welcoming the football boys onto the field, the performance, and then joining the rest of the Spartan Nation in the stands to cheer on the boys leads to the end of the night with the band the famous parking lot party which normally turns into an Applebee’s run and then home to sleep and prepare for the next week of excitement.

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Spirit’s fall dance team takes on a new year