An Unusual Season to Remember for the SICP Dance Team


Photo via Lily Dahlborn.

The SICP Dance Team poses for a team photo.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the SICP Dance Team knew they would have a season like no other, probably without pep rallies, half-time routines, sideline dances, and competitions. Even though the dancers understood their year would be different, they made the best of the situation by practicing and rehearsing for months with the hope of having competitions and performances in the future. Their dreams came true in February when the Illinois High School Association cleared the team for in-person practices and virtual competitions. 

In the summer and early fall, the dancers participated in short workouts over zoom to keep everyone active and dancing. Try-outs were in November, resulting in an official roster of varsity and junior varsity team members. For the next three months, the team held virtual rehearsals after school every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. These practices consisted of stretching, cardio, and combination training. In addition, they selected the jazz-styled song “Sax” by Fleur East as their competition routine. 

Throughout this time, the team’s coaches worked on creating a new dance studio space at the school’s recently acquired building, Gonzaga Hall. They designed it for the dancers — complete with barres, mirrors, and marley flooring. 

As soon as the team was cleared to practice in person, they headed straight to their new dance studio with excitement. The group had only three weeks to prepare for their competitions, including sectionals. They learned the routine through videos sent by the coaches and used the rehearsal time to set formations and perfect the dance. Because competition rules required dance teams to submit video entries, they filmed their routine in the third-floor gym and then submitted it to each competition. 

“I am so grateful for the creative ways we came together as a team,” said Vanessa Malatesta ‘21. “It has been wonderful to see everyone in person and dancing together. Even though we did not have normal competitions, I’m glad we had the chance to enter in our dance to some virtual competitions. I’m happy that we are still having fun through these strange times.” 

The official dance season ended in the middle of March, but the team members remain positive about performing at football games this spring. They will continue to train, always ready for whatever happens this year.