CGHS Front Row: Gotta Dance!
Writer / Leigh Lawson . Photos / Provided
The Center Grove High School has a new addition to their competitive teams. The dance team, while being new, has already developed into a force to be reckoned with. They have state titles to their credit to prove this. Sherry Kennell formed the team eight years ago, which has been competing for the past five years. Kennell, along with Hannah Mueller and Brianna Amspaugh are the team’s varsity coaches. Like all CGHS teams, the dance team strives for excellence through strong coaching and determined hard work for those on the team.
The team competes in the Indiana High School Dance Team Association. The CGHS dance team participates in invitational competitions that lead to the regional competition, held this year on February 28. The dancers that qualify at the regional competition advance to the state competition. The team is looking strong heading into this year’s state championship, which will be held on March 13-14. It is immensely promising for the team with several top ranked qualifiers leading the team.
As with all high school teams, parental support and involvement are essential to a successful dance team season. Coach Mueller sums up the reality of the parental role. “Parent involvement is vital to a student’s success in their activity. So much time and money is spent on essentials, transportation and training these days. Most activities demand extra commitments outside of school that parents must be willing to support so much more than just attending meets, competitions and games.”
Clara Spenny, whose daughter is senior Chloe Spenny, explains how the dance parents take great pride in showing their support and enthusiasm during competitions. The parents have unique and entertaining ways to support their team. “We have noise makers that turn heads,” Spenny said. “When our team comes on the floor, you know we are supporting them. Last year we made Fatheads of each of the members, we saved them until their last dance was over at regionals. We all stood and waved our fatheads when they were done. They died laughing as they ran off the floor.”
The dance team becomes a close family. Spenny states that they aren’t the typical dance moms. They are a core group of close friends. These friends want to make their dancers have a memorable high school experience. Currently they are in deep contemplation on how to top last year’s display of team spirit with the Fathead display. They are confident that they will succeed in displaying their pride in a bold way.
Senior parent, Julie Kelly, reiterates the family atmosphere. Kelly, whose daughter Joannah joined the team her junior year, immediately felt welcomed. She found the other parents and coaches not only very welcoming but also helpful and supportive. Kelly enjoys watching her daughter represent Center Grove by doing something that she loves.
Coach Mueller captures the parental experience that is the absolute truth for all parents whose children are involved in any extracurricular activities. “When students enter middle school, parents must be willing to set their own goals aside. Students need to learn how to problem solve and push themselves on their own. Coaches should be trusted to lead their teams. When parents let these things happen, teamwork steps in, and students are able to reap the benefits.”
It is a sacrifice of love that the parents of Center Grove know well. It is also an extraordinary experience of growth for the students that they love.