The life of a new dance team member

For six freshmen, the start of high school comes with early morning practices and bonds with upperclassmen.

by Elsa Feigenbaum and Cassie Hayes

Fresh out of grade school, every STA freshman has to adjust to the new life of high school. For six of these freshmen, this additionally entails adjusting to the life of a STA dance team member.

One of these six is freshmen Olivia Thomas. When she was three years old she started at Miller Marley School of Voice and Dance. After falling love with the sport and sticking with it, she was thrilled to learn STA had a dance team when she shadowed last year. This lead to her attending tryouts last April, on a day with a deeper importance.

“April 10 was my aunt that passed away’s birthday,” Thomas said. “I kind of tried out for her, and I think that was her helping me.”

According to senior team captain Ally Pribyl, she remembers her tryouts as a freshmen being a stressful experience since she did not know what to expect. As for the most recent tryouts, she and the other upperclassmen tried to make sure the newcomers felt welcome.

photos by Cassie Hayes

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With her acceptance into the school’s dance team, Thomas proceeded to spend her summer practicing and attending a week long Universal Dance Association (UDA) camp with her teammates.

“I think that was a part of how our team really became a team,” said Thomas. “We did a lot together that whole week and i think that was one of the parts I loved.”

According to Pribyl while the team is close now, she remembers there being strong divisions between the classes her while she was a freshman. Her and the other upperclassmen has worked hard to eliminate that this year.

“The seniors on this team make you feel like a part of something,” Thomas said. “They’re so nice and everything they do they just include everybody.”

According to Thomas, the school year beginning means learning how to balance her school work with practices 3 times a week. For 2 hours, Thomas and the other dancers run, learn new material and clean up their dances to be ready to perform. Thomas says that though she is younger, the coaches still treat the freshmen and the upperclassmen equally.

While dance team comes with a high commitment and a lot of hard work, Pribyl wants freshmen to know it is worth it in the end.


“You feel good once you have gone through the year and you do well at competition,” Pribyl said. “Just realizing that it’s going to all end soon, so just make the most of it.”