Size and spirit: Dance Troupe invigorated in new year

Dance+Troupe+has+gone+through+vast+changes+in+its+2021-22+season%2C+resulting+in+more+members%2C+lifted+team+spirit+and+an+increase+in+opportunities+to+grow+as+dancers.

Gabriel Issa

Dance Troupe has gone through vast changes in its 2021-22 season, resulting in more members, lifted team spirit and an increase in opportunities to grow as dancers.

Kia Dutta, Arts Co-Editor

At the Sept. 8 pep rally, all of U-High cheered under the sun in Jackman Field as the Dance Troupe set the tone for the beginning of the school year with an upbeat, energizing dance performance to “You Make Me Feel” by Cobra Starship. Little did the audience know about the behind-the-scenes preparation for the dance and the hard work the team continues to put in for upcoming performances.

Dance Troupe has gone through vast changes in its 2021-22 season, resulting in more members, lifted team spirit and an increase in opportunities to grow as dancers.

Dance Troupe’s season this year spans from October to February, including various performances such as halftimes at boys and girls varsity basketball home games, Artsfest and the Connections gala. The troupe of 18 members practices twice a week for one to two hours, led by junior captain Lizzie Baker and senior captain Kennedi Bickham.

According to head coach Nichole Magliocco, the team put in significant effort to begin the season with a strong start. The troupe attended a dance camp during early November in preparation for the season. Instructors from the Universal Dance Association led the weekend-long day camp for the dancers who learned and practiced six dances.

Furthermore, changes also took shape in the team during the shift back to in-person learning. According to Lizzie, there has been an increase in the team’s motivation this year so far.

“Overall I’ve seen a huge lift in team spirit,” Lizzie said. “That could largely be because of the larger team since we’ve gained seven new members since our COVID year, or because we’re in school full-time, but this year, the members of the team seem to be having an especially good time.”

Everyone’s been doing really great this year. With all the new members and events and practices, the team’s really been working to get everybody to a good level with the various abilities of dance.”

— Nichole Magliocco

Similarly, Ms. Magliocco believes the shift back from distance-learning has been a tremendous change. During distance-learning, the team met over Zoom; however, she said that the team has more than just bounced back with the transition back to in-person learning.

“Everyone’s been doing really great this year. With all the new members and events and practices, the team’s really been working to get everybody to a good level with the various abilities of dance,” Ms. Magliocco said. “Everyone’s also adjusted well to the masks, and the environment overall just feels more normal again.”

Ms. Magliocco believes that the team is looking forward to the rest of the season and all of their upcoming performances. She is currently working with Athletics Director David Ribbens to explore the possibility of expanding Dance Troupe to include performances at girls soccer games in the spring, allowing students who are currently unavailable to participate later in the year and to showcase their hard work.