Wake-up. Practice. Dance. Perform. Repeat.
The Sweethearts drill team season is filled with rigorous practice in order to make a showstopping performance. From the football field to the Performing Arts Center’s Stage, the Sweethearts have showcased their talents and finished their season off strong.
The end of the season is bittersweet as it is an end to years of dedication and hard work that some seniors have been looking forward to since middle school.
“This season is an end to everything I’ve worked so hard for,” senior Alyssa Williams said. “A closing on the chapter of life I couldn’t wait to experience.”
The officers on the team are leaders and role models for all of the dancers. They lead practices and set the expectations for the season. Officers also deal with the behind the scenes to organize shows and competitions.
I always try my best to push them to be the best version of themselves, and to do this I have to push myself first,” Captain junior Addison Williams said. “I show them that I also struggle, but that I will always push through and overcome the struggles I face, in the hopes they will do the same.”
Many students join the Sweethearts to gain efficient dance skills and to make the most out of their high school experience.
“This season was an experience I couldn’t have gotten at a studio,” freshman Tori VanSchuyver said. “I got to meet all new people and make friendships that will last all through high school.”
The work needed to be a Sweetheart is not for the faint of heart and each minute is a learning curve for each individual. The seniors leave the team with knowledge they will use for the rest of their lives.
“As a freshman, you have on rose colored glasses,” Alyssa said. “Although I love how much I got to improve and grow this team, it has been an upward climb getting there. I’m just glad the work paid off and I’m getting to leave the team with all of the knowledge I was able to pack into them.”
Being a senior on the team comes with many perks, but also responsibilities and expectations.
“When I first joined sweethearts I always looked forward to my senior year because I always saw the seniors doing all these special things for the last time, and I think this year has definitely met my expectations,” senior Abi McNew said. “I have been able to have some great opportunities and experiences that I have never been able to have.”
Any sport comes with the risk of injury, and for some, it comes with the risk of not being able to finish out the season as expected
“Injuring myself before the first contest was not on my to do list, but I thought it would be the same as any other injury I’ve had,” Williams said. “I ended up having surgery and am now on the mends the same week as our spring show, so having to experience the end of the season without getting to actually do it is very difficult, but also rewarding to know that the end is here.”
The Sweethearts attend every football game, perform at every pep rally and participate in events around the district.
“Being a sweetheart has changed my high school experience a lot,” McNew said. “I loved being on sweethearts because of how involved in the school I was. I will always look back on my high school years and remember all the amazing memories from drill team.”
As a student goes through the years of being a Sweetheart, they gain responsibility and pass it on to the younger generations of Sweethearts.
“My mindset going into next year is to make sure that the dignity and reputation this team has is still standing years after we graduate,” Addison said. “These girls deserve to enjoy their time on the team, and bonding as people and dancers while being an award winning Sweetheart is the experience I want to be able to give to everyone who makes the decision to join.”