“The whole season gets exciting. We have brand new routines every year. Nothing we do is the same. We have new themes. We have new costumes. We have new music. So it’s fun to get brand new creativity in,” says Lesa Blanchard, the head coach of the CHS dance team. The dance team had a great season, from trying out a new style of dance to going to state and scoring high in their categories. Their season did technically end in the winter, but they still have a few more events that they are doing to end off the year.
Overall, this year’s season was a huge success for the dance team. This year they even challenged themselves by choreographing a show routine, which was a category that the dance team had never done in years past. This style of dance is different because it includes many props and quick changes during the performance. They put tons of work into getting this dance perfect, including making their own props with the help of parent volunteers. According to Blanchard, their show dance placed third at state. Their pom and jazz routines also scored higher than they had in years past at competitions.
Even though the dance competition season is over, the dance team is still working hard at their next project, which they do annually to end off their dancing year. This project is a dance clinic for kindergarten through eighth grade. Each dance team member gets to collaborate with another to choreograph a dance that they get to teach to the kids at the dance clinic. Blanchard comments, ”We end it as a fun way to choreograph their own routines and also as a fundraiser to send us to summer camp this summer.” The dance team also ends the year off with a banquet to celebrate their accomplishments during the season.
Auditions for the dance team are coming up soon on May 13-18. Next year, Blanchard hopes to have a large team made up of both guys and girls. To audition, students need to first fill out some paperwork and surveys that are outlined on the Camas dance team website. Then, the audition process starts out by students learning a one minute routine over a three day period. On the final day of auditions, each student in groups of three performs the dance in front of a group of judges.
Blanchard mentioned, “If people are thinking about trying out, don’t be scared, because I know it can seem intimidating.” She went on to explain how the judges score newcomers differently than returning members. Newcomers have to reach a lower score, and the judges base their scores on whether there is potential for growth in dance technique. Alexis Williams, a sophomore at Camas High School, comments, “Dance team isn’t just about the technical aspects. That’s definitely something to focus on, but your performance, attitude, and potential for improvement also play a huge role.”
The dance team is a great team activity to join. Students are able to improve their skills in dance, compete, and build team working skills. They also get to become part of something that feels like a family. Aria Perry, a sophomore at Camas High School, comments, “I was the manager because I have an injury. My favorite part was honestly just being able to kind of see what dance team is like through the eyes of the coaches and see the bonding activities and the work that actually went into making us like a team.”