Whitman’s Dance Team Enters Competitive Season

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The Dance Team performing their rendition of 'thriller' at half-time, last year.
The Dance Team performing their rendition of 'thriller' at half-time, last year.

It’s January, and Whitman’s competitive dance team is in full swing. “We typically have two competitions per month,” said Coach Kiva Boozer. “We have a young, hard-working team this year. All of the girls practice three times a week here in Whitman’s Professional Dance Studio [made possible by a grant from SHEF], and then most of the girls also dance outside of school.”

Whitman’s competitive dance team is actually a club and has traditionally been closely associated with Kickline, but as the sport had developed, it has become clear that dance is the overlying theme. Competitions comprise four categories: Kick, Pom, Hip Hop, and Jazz. Teams are able to be as creative as they wish in both costuming and choreography. Many teams hire professional choreographers, but the Whitman team keeps it local as they choreograph their own kick routine and Whitman special education teacher Michelle Gural choreographs their jazz routine.

The team maintains a very active fundraising season, as all of their costuming is paid for from those efforts. Between fundraising, which begins with their annual summer car wash, and a tough practice schedule, the team is a tightly knit group. “I love the dance team because it allows me to be competitive in an activity that I love to do and have team members who love the same thing,” said Rachel Kilkenny, a freshman at Whitman. “Dance is competitive but it is more about performing as an art, where in traditional sports it’s so much about winning.”

Freshman Amanda Moletz agrees with her teammate. “We dance as if we’re one family, and when we dance, we’re able to express our emotions and feelings,” Amanda said. “I’m taking all honors classes, and dance helps me deal with any stresses I may have.” Older sister Alyssa Moletz, a junior, considers dance an art, and as an artist she is able to express her creative side through dance. “As dancers, we use our bodies to express ourselves in the same way a painter uses brushes.”

The young team’s hard work is paying off, and they are having a good season. As each of the 19 team members finds her strengths and the team performs as one, they will rise steadily in the ranks of their competition.

The 2012 – 2013 Walt Whitman Wildcat Varsity Dance Team is coached by Kiva Boozer, assisted by volunteer coach Nicole Mercurio. Team members include: Arianna Carlson, Kayla Collins, Ashley Corcoran, Katherine Cox, Jenna Kilkenny, Marina Kilkenny, Rachel Kilkenny, Corina Lambraia, Amanda Lund, Rebecca MacLeod, Alyssa Moletz, Amanda Moletz, Kelsey Neal, Sabrina O’Dette, Melanie Olinsky, Victoria Rosa, Ashley Seebach, Alexis Trench, and Maya Williams.