Varsity dance performs a special dance on “I Understand” mental health awareness night


Senior Emma Yoder and junior Claire Baguley, girls varsity basketball captains, were in charge of organizing this year’s basketball game for a cause. In the past, the proceeds have gone to organizations for illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. This year, the cause was mental health awareness and all proceeds went to the organization “I Understand.”

The varsity dance team, who dances at the halftime of all home varsity basketball games, wanted to join in the cause as well.

Senior Rylee Hrnyak and juniors Lindsey Lunt and Alyssa Zadel choreographed a dance to the song “1-800-273-8255″ by Logic. This number is the nationwide suicide hotline number, and tell the story of a struggling man calling the hotline, and ultimately realizing he has too much to live for.

“This song has been extremely popular since it has been released and the statistics of callers has gone up dramatically,” Lindsey said.

The dance team had personal motivation for performing this dance, as one of its coaches lost her mom to suicide at a young age.

“For me, it was really special and moving to dance for [our coach] and others who have dealt with mental health struggles or losing someone to suicide,” Alyssa said. “The song is really moving, which helped inspire us to do a slower and more touching dance.”

The goal of this charitable effort was to end the negative stigma surrounding mental illnesses. All of the players, dancers, coaches and other helpers involved thought this was an extremely important cause due to its prevalence in our society today.

“The subject of mental health is very touchy and can be uncomfortable; it isn’t talked about as much as other illnesses,” Alyssa said. “It was awesome to be part of such a cool event and I was glad to be able to help choreograph a dance for our team that hopefully touched the audience.”