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Dance team becomes varsity sport

By Denebola
Published: November 2008

By Elizabeth Crowley

Newton South, like a growing number of schools in the area, now recognizes it’s dance team as a varsity sport. This change has inspired a boost in spirits for the team’s members, as well as increased interest in joining the team.

“Since last year, the team has gotten a lot more recognition in terms of being considered a sport and more people discovering Newton South actually has a dance team. We had a lot more girls try out for the team this year, and the season is now extended to both the fall and winter seasons. We have definitely worked to become respected as an official team and I feel that the respect we earned has spread throughout the school, senior captain Katie Wan said.

Since sophomore Aly Gordon, junior Liza Barnes, and senior Olivia Barnes formed the team last year, they have worked to have the team acknowledged at the varsity level.

“It took a year of being an official club with active participants and working really hard to become a varsity sport. Our coach, Jaime Gaudet, was helpful in getting us started, Gordon said.

The three started the team after having danced together at the Kathy McCrohon Dance Center, in order to represent the school through dance. The team now holds practices at the dance center.

This year the club has become an official team at the MIAA level, headed by Wan, Olivia Barnes and Ayala Cohen, who are running a constantly growing squad.

“Last year the team had nine girls on it and now it has 20 girls so that is definitely a huge difference, Barnes said.

“Having more people on the team is great and we all love it. We are all still very close. Having more dancers also helps us with choreography because there are 10 more ideas and moves, Gordon said, reflecting on whether the added dancers took away the intimacy of the smaller squad.

The team also gives credit to coach Jamie Gaudet for continuing to help the girls despite increasing numbers.

“I love her as our coach. She’s fun, energetic, and an amazing dancer. She knows how to work us really hard but she also knows how to laugh and have fun with us, Wan said.

“Jaime is amazing. She started as our dance coach last year and we’re so happy to have her back this year. She’s always willing to hear our input and support the team, Cohen said.

Creativity is valuable to the squad, which now attends competitions.

The team is excited by the prospect of doing well at competitions, but remains focused on more than just a first place trophy.

“It would be amazing to get first in our competitions and move on to higher level competitions, but first place trophies come and go, what’s really important to me is that we support each other as a team and raise interest in the dance team, Cohen said.

“My goals this year are to compete at a few different competitions as well as perform at all the football and basketball games. For the future, I just hope the team stays strong and more dancers continue to join, Barnes said.

“Dance team is so enjoyable because we work hard and break a sweat but we also have so much fun together. We also enjoy the competition and the feeling of being on a team, Gordon said.

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