Hours of practice, countless eight counts and routines that were known like the back of their hands were crushed last year. The national competition for the Golden Girls dance team was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The dance team is now preparing for regionals and nationals for this year, and they are taking that heartbreak and putting it towards motivation for this competition season.
“Last year was really heartbreaking and we got to compete at our Region Six competition, which is all of the Kansas community colleges,” coach of the Golden Girls, Amy Seller, said. “It was actually the week we returned that everything shut down just four days after our competition.”
“Since we didn’t get the chance to do it [Nationals] last year, especially the veterans on the team…we’re really excited because we didn’t get the opportunity,” Shalynn Long, a team captain, said. “So, we’re really trying to prepare ourselves as much as possible…we push ourselves day in, day out. We are trying to get our routines cleaned…and it can be stressful, but it’s well worth it.”
While the Golden Girls are set to go with competitions this spring, the Fall semester was used to prepare for the competitions.
“We basically just considered our Fall semester a jumpstart for the Spring semester,” Sellers said. “So, we learned as much as we possibly could. We were hopeful that once the Spring semester came, then we would get to perform and have those opportunities.”
However, the year has not been the same because of the COVID-19 regulations and procedures that the dance team are required to follow. Specifically, team bonding has changed, but Long said that the team is still as close as ever.
“Usually in a normal year, we would go and do something together,” Long said. “This year we can’t do that because of the restrictions with COVID. But I think because we have such a limited time together, we actually have bonded more as a team because we know we have a lot on the line to lose.”
As a captain Long also must set an example for the rest of the time with how precautions are taken at practices and performances.
“As captains, we have certain expectations so not only do we follow the rules, but we have more rules as captains because we are setting the guidelines for the whole team,” Long said. “It’s a little tricky because not only are we trying to stay safe with the pandemic and wear a mask, but everyone is also following in our lead as captains. So, for example, if we pull our masks down or something, someone else will want to do it. So, we just have to be careful with our actions because everyone follows what we do.”
Despite the pandemic, the team is still hopeful in a win at regionals and nationals and are looking forward to competing.
“The biggest hope for me is just to be able to get out there with my team and bring home some national championships,” Long said.
If you are interested in auditioning for the Golden Girls dance team auditions will be held April 24. For more information regarding the team, auditions and workshops visit their Facebook page.
By Gracyn Shulista