Dance Team leaps into school spirit

The+Dance+Team+practices+in+the+dance+studio+for+their+performance+at+the+last+football+game+of+the+season.+

Marlo Jae Lewis

The Dance Team practices in the dance studio for their performance at the last football game of the season.

The Carlmont Dance Team is very dedicated to their art, every Monday and Wednesday they don their dance clothes and head to the dance studio to practice their next routine.

The team, coached by Sarah Escobedo, often performs at football and basketball games and brings school spirit to numerous events, while getting to perform their elaborate routines.

“There are a bunch of opportunities to perform in front of crowds and to have a safe, fun place to do what you love and enjoy,” said Sara Wilkinson, a freshman.

According to Escobedo, the Dance Team began in 2017, when Kenna Kwok, a former Dance Team captain, went to administration and filled out all of the necessary paperwork to get the ball rolling. Escobedo was then hired and has been the team’s coach since then, and hopes that next year the Carlmont Dance Team will become a competitive sport.

“The Carlmont Dance Team is a performing sports team that focuses on teamwork, student choreography, and teaching, advanced technique, as well as spirit leaders for Carlmont’s football and basketball teams,” Escobedo said.

To get onto the team, prospective members must go through a multi-step audition process. It begins in May, when returning and prospective members go to the dance gym for a couple of hours and warm-up, perform across the floor progressions, and learn a short hip hop and jazz routine.

They also have to go to the second day of auditions to perform the previous routines for the coach. Once auditions end and Escobedo has notified the dancers who have made the team, they start learning dances taught by the Dance Team captain, Anna Wilkinson.

Learning each dance usually takes one to two practices, according to junior Emma Wang, so the team practices about four hours a week, every week. Though according to Escobedo, the choreography process can vary from year to year. Some years she’s choreographed the dances while other years captains or other members choreographed.

“It’s unique in that we really go with the flow. There is not a set formula for how we create our dances, and it is always agreed as a team what we choose to perform. Though as the coach, I have the final say, for the most part, we make decisions as a united team,” Escobedo said.

The Dance Team acts as an outlet for many members, as they can express themselves and meet new people.

“I think I get out so much from Dance Team. I get to be with my friends doing what I love. It’s kind of an escape from the stresses in my life,” Wang said. 

As Escobedo coaches these dancers throughout the years, she notices growth. “Each year, they get better and better both individually and as a team, and it is such an honor to be able to help them gain their confidence as leaders and teachers,” Escobedo said.  

The dance team has been able to perform at football games and some assemblies throughout the year, and often can be a fan-favorite at events like the homecoming assembly. Moving in-sync and to the beat of popular songs, the team helps rally school spirit wherever they perform.

“The feeling after performing is so amazing! When you get everyone cheering, it feels so awesome! I love to be with all the people on Dance Team and dance my heart out!” Wang said.