There is the sound of chattering and laughter as the girls on the Los Altos Dance Team stretch in preparation for their practice. After stretching out, the team is instructed to visualise the moves of their dance before a run-through. Then, the team gets into their formation, the movement stills, and the music begins. The team, which consists of 11 dancers, meets in the Dance Room every Thursday from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
“[Our coach] will pick a dance and play the song, and we run through it,” junior Bethany Sieffert said. “Normally, each practice we work on cleaning one dance, and once that dance is cleaned, it’s expected to be clean for the rest of the season.”
The team doesn’t compete, but rather attends Los Altos community events, such as rallies, home football and basketball games, the Festival of Lights and Los Altos Live. Dancers have the opportunity to be involved at the Los Altos while participating in a sport they enjoy.
“A lot of the girls are also competitive dancers at their studios, and the high school team is a way for them to be involved in the school,” Dance Team coach and dancer Jordan Micek said.
With the management and assistance of captains senior Clara Hao and junior Loanie Phan, the team perfects over a dozen dances each year. Over the summer, the team perfected four routines, and now learns a dance per week to perform at the coming events.
More than just preparing the team for various assemblies and rallies, practices also include opportunities for team bonding.
“Every summer before school, we have a dance intensive that spans over an entire weekend,” Clara said. “Each night we get dinner together and do scavengers hunts around Los Altos downtown.”
The girls are also given opportunities to choreograph pieces together, which is often a bonding experience. Bethany and sophomore Jane Dent choreographed the dance for the Back to School assembly at the beginning of the year.
“Our coach said that our dance had to be about a minute long,” Bethany said. “[Jane and I] picked a song we both agreed on. It’s pretty challenging, because we’re normally just learning them, but choreographing is like a whole nother level.”
However, regardless of difficulty, Micek believes that learning how to choreograph is a very important skill for a dancer to have.
“I want them to get that [choreography] experience,” Micek said. “Where else do you learn to choreograph but with your peers? [Choreographers] demonstrate leadership, and a little bit of it is me pushing them out of their comfort zone. They always rise to the occasion.”