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A Million Reasons

Samantha Joslin and Annalissa Houser

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The auditorium lights faded into darkness and the crowd’s muffled rustling became magnified as the clock hit 7 p.m. Red lights flashed on stage and a group of girls began dancing to the popular tune of “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce.

May 5-6, girls who have been dancing for their entire lives performed on stage for the very last time. It was the 2017 Spring Special, an annual show put on by drill team, and audience members — family, friends and strangers — beheld a series of solos, duets and small group dances put on by varsity and JV Drill Team.

“The spring show is about the seniors,” senior Jordyn Burke said. “For a lot of us, it’s the last time we’re ever dancing. It’s the last time I’m ever dancing on stage and I’ve been dancing since I was two.”

This year, Burke was a varsity drill team officer. The title brings with it a wealth of responsibility — officers are responsible for choreographing dances, picking out costumes and leading practices. Burke was one of the three 2016-2017 varsity drill team officers alongside senior Katie McCluskey and junior Maxine Teixeira. Recently, Burke and McCluskey passed down their positions to juniors Mackenzie Nagel and Samantha Anderson. Texeria will remain in her officer position for the 2017-2018 year.

“I have wanted to be an officer ever since I started drill team,” Nagel said. “My sister was a varsity officer her junior and senior year. I got to see what she would do and it seemed cool to me.”

Gaining the title of officer is not easily done. The dancers have to fill out an application, complete an interview process and give a speech to the members of their team. The varsity officers not only have to choreograph the dances throughout the year, but also have to keep everyone focused on the task at hand, as well as maintain positive relationships with the team.

“Especially now since I’m stepping up, I’m realizing how much the officers do,” Anderson said. “It’s tough shoes to fill.”

According to Nagel, drill team has been a major factor in building her and Anderson’s  friendship; they were JV officers together their freshman year. In fact, all of the girls on the team have built up meaningful friendships over the years.The senior officers choreographed a particular dance to embody their close relationships with one another.

“The most sentimental dance is A Million Reasons,” Burke said. “The message is that we have a million reasons why we want to leave high school, but we have one reason to stay, which is each other. I’m going to miss practice. I’m going to miss waking up in the morning tired and wanting to go sleep, but dancing instead. Even though drill team has lots of stress, it’s been our life for four years.”

After a heartwarming last dance and a tearful group hug, the auditorium lights dimmed once more. A slideshow was projected and the audience watched the girls’ pictures blink across the stage — a culmination of memories, moments and friendships from the past year.

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