Dazzling with Low Numbers


The dazzlers take the time to rehearse (photo by K. Tran).

Kathlyn Tran, Staff Writer

When the subject of the high school dance team is brought up there are many different things that could be talked about. However, a common question many students may have is why the dance team is so small. The dance team is two to three times smaller than the teams at other schools, this fact may raise a few questions.

“I just don’t think there are a lot of people that dance at Spring Hill because there is only one studio that’s physically in Spring Hill. Most of the other studios are in Olathe, Lenexa, and Overland Park. The people that do dance at our school go to a really competitive studio and are on their competition team. So their schedule is already full as it is,” Maya Parathikoune, dancer, 10, stated.

Another contributor to the size of the dance team is because the judges in the previous years have been more critical. For the years ahead, they are going to be focusing on potential.

“I think in previous years the coaches were more selective. I also think that those coaches looked for a very specific skill set and so they wanted to take the really advanced girls,” Kelsea Stueve, head dance coach, said, “The coaches that we have now have a growth mentality. We’re thinking [that] we could take some girls that maybe don’t have as high of a skill set and we’re trying to really teach them the skills they need to be successful.”

There is room to grow and expand the team, especially when the mindset for tryouts has shifted within the judges.

“I think we could grow the team a little bit. It would really benefit us in an overall performance aspect. Obviously with five people there’s only so much you can do and it gets a little frustrating, but I think we can grow a little bit,” Parathikoune stated.

There are nine dancers on the dance team, but only five to six will compete in competitions. 

“We have two teams. Purple and gold team. The gold is the people who have been training since the summer and [they are] mostly veterans who have been on the team for multiple years. The purple team is, I guess you could say, rookies,” Parathikoune said.

The dancers themselves have reflected on the size of the dance team and have come across some pros and cons.

“We get more time together and especially one on one time if we need help with anything. It’s a lot easier, but sometimes it’s very hard to do it right and if we mess up it’s easier to see,” Muara Fuqua, dancer, 9, said.

Small dance teams are often underestimated. When mistakes are made, it is difficult for just a few dancers to hide it.

“A weakness of having that small of a team is formations and choreography can sometimes look better when there’s more girls. We tend to do what we call ‘ripples’, which is basically one side starts it and it’s kind of like the wave you do in the audience. We are not able to do as many of those with only five girls and bigger teams can have more of the effects with their different formations,” Stueve said.

However, having a limited number of dancers also comes with its advantages.

“We have a tighter bond and that really improves our chemistry when we perform. With the bigger teams it’s divided. There are cliques, and if it’s really bad, you can tell that their dancing is off…being a smaller team we have a tighter bond which is nice,” Parathikoune said.

Teamwork is crucial for the dance team’s synergy and having a limited number of dancers can be useful when trying to bond.

“We all are just a big family and we always have that kind of friendship. We help each other with what we need help on and we just have fun…Sometimes we do wish that we have some more people on the team, but we all know that we can all do it together and do the same thing,” Fuqua said.