Monday, January 5, 2009
Article from the local paper (X-Post)
***UPDATED to include text from the article***
Here is an article from our local paper about the dance team going to perform in New Orleans at the half-time of the Sugar Bowl. That's my dd, front and center and smiling!
We are already in NO and are loving the weather and the food and the fun. The game is tomorrow, so the girls are practicing for 8 hours today!
I will try to post photos later. We've already don so much!
Happy New Year from the Big Easy!
Thursday, January 1, 2009 6:13 AM CST
WATERLOO --- Dancers are used to learning a new routine in a matter of hours.
They get the basics --- where to leap, where to turn, where to put their hands, where to look --- and then spend months perfecting their performance.
The West High dance team is no different. Members spent about five months learning the nuances of the three routines they took to the state dance competition in early December.
But tomorrow, the 11 girls will perform a routine they first learned just a few weeks ago. And they will do it in front of a live audience of thousands and a potential television audience of millions during halftime of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
"It's exciting because no one from our school has done this before," senior dancer Emily Jensen said.
The team left Tuesday for New Orleans and spent the week on the field with hundreds of other dancers and choreographer Bonnie Story. Story is mostly known for her work on the "High School Musical" movies, a fact that didn't escape these girls. The dancers' parents are more likely to know Story as a dancer in Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal video.
Brittany Lenth, a senior dancer, said Story's style is "flowy and showy, with more spins and snaps" than they are used to, but learning the new routine has been fun.
"It might not look like we know what we are doing now, but we will," she said, during a break in practice Sunday night.
The girls learned they would be performing for the halftime show last spring, but coach Morgan Havlicek didn't tell the girls they would need to learn the dance before leaving until the pressure of the state competition had lifted. Havlicek learned the routine from a DVD sent out by the halftime organizers and then began teaching the girls in early December.
Each girl then received a DVD to take home, so she could practice more on her own.
By Sunday night, the steps were finally falling in place. Just 15 minutes into the three-hour practice, Havlicek was pushing the girls to practice using the typical excited dancers' expressions. But, even the facial expressions couldn't mask the confusion, as the girls came to a complicated step series in the routine.
Through all the goof-ups, the girls, and coach, kept upbeat and laughing. And when they finally nailed it, everyone stopped for a moment to offer a round of applause for the hard work.
"I'm not worried about them" Havlicek said. "They are such an outgoing group, they blow you away. Whenever they are in front of a group, they are on fire. They know what to do in front of a crowd."
The girls say they aren't really all that worried either, although senior Sarah Shirley admitted to at least one irrational fear.
"I'm scared everyone will be down, and I will be left standing up," Shirley said, giggling nervously.
The team also will attend a New Year's Eve bash in New Orleans before returning home Sunday.
The University of Alabama and the University of Utah will square off in the Sugar Bowl at 7 p.m. Jan. 2 on the Fox TV network.