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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Eat, sleep, competition, repeat

Wando Dance Team reflects on their season
Jacob Cutter

The lights went out and the curtains closed. The Wando dance team has just put on their final performance of the season. 

For senior Madeline Capps, this was her last performance of her grade-school career. Capps first started her dance team journey nearly six years ago. 

“My audition for the dance team was the summer after my seventh grade year,” Capps said. “My audition was me attending a varsity practice. It was just me and it was a bunch of varsity people like juniors and seniors and I just had to do their practice with them.” 

As a former dance-studio member, the style of performance for the team sport was a much different experience for Capps. 

“I was very scared because I was new to the dance team world and I didn’t really know what they were doing. It was kind of terrifying but it’s okay, it all worked out [and] I made the team,” Capps said.  

Over the next four years, Capps developed a passion for competitive dance as well as assisting new members, such as freshman Ginny Cate Cason. As a new member, Cason had to get used to the routine of the dance team. 

“It’s such a new thing for me,” Cason said, “there was a bunch of new styles I had to do, but also I [had to] be okay being pushed out of my comfort zone…[but] everyone on the team is so supportive and if there was one girl struggling with a trick or something everyone would be watching and hyping them up and so I definitely do think I’ve become more open minded because of it.”

Despite having to adjust to new procedures, Cason grew as a performer and valued member of the team. 

“I tell people all the time that if I didn’t have the dance team, my school life would be so different because it’s just so welcoming and you can make friends and the bond is different because it’s not always necessarily girls I would think I’d be friends with but it’s through dance we [have] built a relationship,” Cason said. 

This past season included brand new coaches, a younger team, and new styles of dance. The team was able to overcome these challenges one step at a time. Senior Emma Cebula experienced the dramatic change-in-command. 

“The biggest challenge for me personally was the fact that we had new coaches since our old coach left. It was just a big transition trying to help the new coaches. [As] seniors, we just had to take on a lot of leadership and help with running the team almost until they figured it out and it was just a really big change in leadership and coaching styles,” Cebula said.

Despite this challenge, the team was able to pull through and attended several major competitions, including performances involving pom poms and football-style routines. 

“We went to our first regionals in Tennessee in December, and then our state competition at a high school in Columbia, and then we went to our second regional competition in Florida, and then we [went] to nationals in the first week of March,” Cebula said. “Nationals are in Orlando at this big convention center. It was definitely more difficult this year, we got twentieth in Pom and then for Game Day we got 16th for Game Day [which] are three short dances.” 

Orlando Nationals is the pinnacle of the competitive dance season. In Orlando, the team gains experience in performance, professionalism, and in building connections with their teammates. Capps has looked forward to this experience from day one. 

“My favorite memory of the season is probably nationals every year,” Capps said. “That’s just where our team gets the closest because we stay in the same hotel, same rooms, and we’re always together. It’s just a fun time…It’s a national competition where all the dance teams from across the world come to Orlando to compete in different styles. There were over 200 teams this year…that’s our end goal of the season. We work on these dances all season long and our end goal is nationals.”

Although the two are graduating, both Capps and Cebula are grateful for the time they were able to spend on the dance team. 

“It was a very rewarding thing for me because it was a lot of hard work and it was challenging sometimes but it was just rewarding to see all the work you put on the stage at nationals. It was just a very fulfilling experience and the friendships you make are very lifelong,” Cebula said.

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