FHC Dance Team to be “Stronger Than Ever” This Season
November 2, 2015
We all know who they are. They dominate the court during the Homecoming assembly, they command the attention of spectators at the football and basketball games, and they sweep away rivals at their competitions. They are the Forest Hills Central Dance Team, and this year, they are determined to be the best they’ve ever been.
“Everyone has amazing technique, and I think because of that, we will do great at competitions this year,” senior captain Amani Allen aid.
Because the team has lost five seniors and added six new members, this season has been one of adjustments for the returning dancers. But Allen feels that, regardless of all the changes, the team this year is just as strong as it was last year, maybe even stronger.
And based on their season so far, the team is definitely on the road to excellence. According to Junior Katelyn Johnson, the team went to dance camp in July and finished 3rd overall, earning them the ticket to nationals. Along with finishing top 5, the team also had 4 All-American dancers as well.
The success of the dance team is not unjustified, however. Johnson believes the team owes its achievements thus far to their drive, teamwork and sharing one common goal.
“We have a pretty long season and to do dance team you have to be willing to put in time and effort. We all are very motivated to be the best that we can be and it helps a lot to have every one equally as in it,” Johnson said.
Allen added that the overall success is the product of their technique level.
“Out of my four years on the team, this is the year where I think we all have about the same skill level,” Allen said.
Freshman Hannah Weinman believes that the closeness of the team gives them an added advantage as a unit.
“The connection between all of us makes it much easier to dance outside of the box, try new things, and perform,” Weinman said.
According to freshman Rebecca Shull, practices, which happen three times a week, are “more laid back” if they don’t have an upcoming game or competition and “really hard” and “more serious” if there is an event soon.
Allen explained that for the first twenty minutes, the team will stretch together and then continue on to focus on practicing the dances that will be performed the soonest.
While the dance team put on dances for most assemblies, along with basketball and football games, their talent does not stop there. They participate in competitions across the state at local colleges and high schools such as West Ottawa and Grand Valley State University. This year they will be participating in 4 competitions in 3 different categories: Pom, Hip-Hop, and Jazz.
The competitions will be spread out between November to March, the soonest taking place on November 21st at Byron Center High School.
“The atmosphere at competitions is fun and very inviting; it’s cool to get to know and compete against other schools who have a dance team,” Allen said.
As far as the actual choreography goes, the dance team does not mess around. A mix of many different people decide the routines depending on what the dance will be performed for. The girls’ coach, Holly Bieber choreographs the pom dance and the majority of the other dances that they perform throughout the year.
Johnson added that the athletes are in charge of the routines to an extent, such as the captains being the ones choreographing the football game dances.
“Typically the dancers make up a few of the basketball routines, and this year co-captain Peyton Dixon and I choreographed our football routine,” Allen said.
Being a part of the dance team means the girls become extremely close. For Weinman, her experience on the dance team has already helped her meet new people and “brought out her personality.”
“The dance team has really brought me close to some of the upperclassmen who have showed me that FHC can combine as one,” Weinman said. “This relationship with all of the girls has been so fun.”