Wildcat Dance Club hypes crowd, fulfills dancers’ passions


Michelle Cunningham

Wildcats Dance Club

The bright lights blanket packed stands on both sides of the gym before a performance. Waiting on the outside of the gym, you can hear the squeak of the shoes from the players leaving the floor at half time, the crowd’s enthusiasm waning.  

“Introducing the Wildcaaaaat daaaaaancers!” shouts the announcer, and the Wildcat dancers take the floor. Hearts pumping and nerves jumping, the dancers inhale the smell of sweat from the first half. Moments later, the crowd’s faces of confusion turn to excitement as the music starts playing.

With a total of nine girls in grades 9-12 who all share a passion for dance, they’ve been presented with the opportunity to do so at basketball games and spring football games. Dance club offers a variety of dance styles and each dance is chosen and structured by the girls in the club then approved by sponsor Michelle Cunningham. Dance club meets on the second floor of the 1300’s building every Monday and Wednesday. Other days of the week are offered and supervised by Cunningham if members need to learn a dance or just need help with an routine.

“I met a passionate group of girls who needed the space to practice,”  Cunningham said.“I didn’t know what to expect,” she said.

Cunningham, who also sponsors the sophomore class, has never participated in a dance club before but hopes to continue this club for years to come.

A strong lead in the club, senior Shakayla Jordan contributes choreography, pulling from her experience in cheerleading and other dance styles. Jordan said she has wanted a dance team since her freshman year.  

“I recommend that all grades join for the years to come–there’s a lot of potential,” said Jordan, who also emphasizes to interested dancers that the club is not “completely time consuming.”

Sharing the same passion for dance, junior Tiara Coleman said she joined because she loves to dance and is excited to have the opportunity to be in the club, citing the school’s previous lack of activities that focus on dance.

Coleman is also a veteran in color guard and said that being in band and dancing at the football games comes with more obligation, which is why she leaned more toward dance club this year.

Another color guard veteran, sophomore Melanie Lausell, joined dance club under the impression she would be a music technician but now performs at the games with the rest of the girls. Members choose the songs and get them approved, then give it to Lausell and she cuts, adds or shortens the music on her computer to fit their routines.  

“My best friend came to me asking me to cut the music and I hung out at the practices and built a bond with the rest of the girls; now I’m dancing with them,” Lausell said.  

Dance coordinator and lead junior Atierani McIntyre attended approval meetings and other work put into making their club official.

“Since my freshman year, I wanted to have a dance team. I have future experience in cheerleading and dance and I’m also a captain at the Boys and Girls Club,” said McIntyre, who worked with her teammates to advertise the tryouts.

“I hope to expand this club as years go by and we say goodbye to all our seniors,” McIntyre said.