World Of Dance: Maverick Edition


The members of the Mountainside Mavericks dance team gathered together.

Alexandra Lipets, Staff Reporter

Almost every high school around the U.S. has many sports and arts programs. These range from football to theater programs. Dance teams are unique because they incorporate both sport and art. They have to work long and hard to perfect their routines. 

“We practice three times a week for at least 2.5 hours and we work on competition routines and our performance routines for half-time shows. We also work on sidelines, which is when during the first half of the game we dance to what the band plays,” said Andrea Simpson, a junior on the dance team. “We work very hard for all of it!” 

For Simpson, the motivation for dance comes from being a dancer her whole life, but she is ready. Although she really loves ballet and tap (which the team doesn’t practice), she still enjoys her experience on the dance team. 

Most of the other dancers also started off with studio dance, but decided that a transition to a school dance team was better for them. 

Senior, Quinn Johnson, can relate to this. “I’ve been dancing for 15 years and previously I’ve been dancing at a studio. I felt really burnt out dancing there,” said Johnson. After struggling with a lack of motivation, Johnson decided to quit dance altogether. She called this period in her junior year her “gap year”. Considering dance had been a constant in her life, Johnson decided t…0o return to it her senior year by joining the team. 

“At studio dance I always feel like I was competing against other people and so there’s a really good sense of community and I don’t feel like I’m competing against people when we’re doing dances.” 

Similar to studio dance, school dance teams have their own set of competitions that they prepare for. Unlike performances that are shorter and less technical, competition routines have technical elements such as turns and leaps. 

Olivia Black, a former gymnast, joined the team because of its similarities to gymnastics. “Competition season, this year, is from December to March. We started our competition piece in October,” said Black. “This year we’re doing pom, jazz, and contemporary.” The dancers have been spending lots of time polishing and perfecting these three pieces in hopes to do well at competitions. 

With most of the dancers participating in other extracurricular activities, balancing the dance team and everything else can be hard. Quinn Johnson herself is senior co-class president, part of GSA and Mav-TV, and has a job. Other dance team members are part of activities such as choir, theater, and band programs in addition to clubs like AAPISU and Key Club. 

“I try and get as much work done during school as possible so that I don’t have to do it outside of school, where it could interfere with other things,” said sophomore, Zoey Mintzer. She is one of the very few students taking an AP class at Mountainside. Being an IB school, AP classes are usually not offered to students, which is why Mintzer and a small group of freshman and sophomores must take it through the FLEX Online School. AP classes require much more work than other classes, therefore time management is essential for Mintzer. 

Although being a part of the dance team can be challenging, the sense of team and community is favored by the dancers. It motivated the dancers to join, in the hopes of making new friends. 

This year, quite a large group of freshmen auditioned for the team. “My favorite part of dance team is probably the people because they are really kind and we have a good time and are really close,” said freshman Emily Cadavona. Cadavona says she joined Mountainside’s Dance Team to meet new people and to be able to perform, something that she has been doing for most of her life.

Throughout the next few months, the dance team will have many competitions and performances. These include one in December in Gladstone, two in January in Clackamas and Gresham, one in February in Tigard, and two in March. Make sure to come support these girls and show some Maverick pride!