Dancing with the Warrior stars

WHS Dance Team is hosting their annual Dancing with the Warrior Stars competition on Fri., Oct. 13 in the WHS gym at 7 p.m.

Dancing with the Warrior Stars has been a tradition at WHS for three years. Dance team members and prospective “stars” fill out interest forms and are paired up accordingly.

“[I’m looking forward to] just seeing everyone dressed up and ready and dancing with their couples and just having a great time,” said Dance Team captain Paige Higham ‘18. “Seeing all the guys from school just acting silly and being themselves and dancing with all the dance team members [is exciting].”

The groups are each assigned a genre by head coach Savannah Hooks and assistant coach Autumn Hooks, and compete in front of a panel of judges in order to win.

“We randomly assigned each couple a style, being sure to have a wide variety in the show,” said Savannah and Autumn Hooks. “People can expect to see anything from the cha cha to lyrical to musical theatre, and everything in between.”

The competition requires hard work, and the pairs practice up to five days a week rehearsing their routines.

“We practice in the mezzanine and it’s fun because you just have to try a bunch of things and see if they work or not,” said Dance Team member Natalie Nitzsche ‘19. “A lot of stuff doesn’t work so you have to work to fix it.”

The Dance Team member of each couple is responsible creating the choreography.

“[The hardest part of choreographing] is definitely having to choreograph with an inexperienced dancer because … they won’t understand [certain dance terminology], so you have to try to water everything down,” said Dance Team memberSamantha Snyder ‘21.

Every aspect of the routine has to be coordinated by the Dance Team members, including costumes and song choice as well.

“The most challenging part [for me] is cutting the music, 100 percent,” said Dance Team member Taylor Nitzsche ‘20. “ I had to download five different apps, and I used two combined to actually do it. I just have always wanted …  to decide what music, costumes and perspective to do the dance, and it’s cool because you get total control.”

Learning the choreography is also challenging for the “stars” because they are “not just learning [the routine] and memorizing it, but also knowing how to do it continuously well,” said participant Jeremy Garelik ‘20.

“During our dance practice, it was kind of hard to memorize the whole dance because it’s a minute and thirty seconds long, but as you do repetition, it becomes easy,” said participant  Kamren Fabiculanan ‘19.

Many of the participants chose to join because it is a positive experience that also supports the WHS Dance Team.

“It’s my first full year here, [so] getting to perform in front of everyone should be super fun,” said Fabiculanan. “School events are super fun, so I’m just showing my school spirit overall.”

The winners are chosen by judges Emily Dale, AP European History and AP Human Geography teacher, Valerie Rockey , a dancer from So You Think You Can Dance season 11 and Christopher Martinez, a dancer for Lady Gaga.

“Each judge gives a score between one and 10,” said Savannah and Autumn Hooks. “The scores are then added up for each couple so the highest they could score is 30/30. The three highest scoring couples are then voted upon by the audience via text, similar to TV talent shows, to crown our DWTWS winner.”

The winning team receives a trophy and will perform at the Winter Showcase on Fri., Dec. 15.

Tickets are $10 presale and $15 at the door, and the money goes towards supporting the Dance Team.

“We love coordinating this activity,” said Savannah and Autumn Hooks. “It is such a fun way to bring students together and spread school spirit.”