The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

Just Dance

The Summit dance team is reinvented as a school spirit powerhouse
Photo courtesy of Layla Parker.

Perhaps the most surprising—and fitting—addition to school spirit has been the dramatic rebirth of the Summit dance team. Coached by Marianne Cox and captained by Summit senior Sophia Monger, the Summit dance team has consistently and effectively played the role of “Spirit Coordinator” for every game and assembly possible. 

In “Ratatouille,” there is a phrase that gets repeated frequently throughout the movie: “anyone can cook.” This hope was the reason why a rat was promoted to a chef in a Michelin star restaurant—yet it was his work ethic that set him apart from the pack. 

The same can be said for dance: anyone can dance, but it takes a special group of people to entertain over a thousand teenagers.

If a student were to stay behind after school until all the tables were moved to the sides of the Commons, they’d find a dozen teenage dancers stretching for a grueling practice. Only half a room away from the Summit cheer team, two vastly different songs playing in tandem from the speakers, it is a marvel that anyone can concentrate on their moves.

And yet every dancer is on point: concentrated, giving their all, every time. Those who’ve joined the team are here to dance, and it shows.

“We usually all always go full out,” said Monger, laughing. “Yeah. Even when we say to mark it, we’re like, ‘nope, we’re going full out.’”

Instead of “marking,” a term that signals to a dancer to simply go through the routine itself, rather than focusing on the details, Summit’s dancers have such an infectious energy that it feels electric every take.

“We all love to dance,” said Monger. “And we want to be able to dance at school, while being respected and also hyping up the crowd. I think it’s our goal just to be happy and perform.”

In order to memorize even short routines, weeks of work and dissection by each  dancer is required to create the seamless performance Summit dance puts on every time.

The practice has paid off. Every time Summit dance showcases a new routine, it’s greeted with loud cheers from the audience, with synchronized choreography and a booming mashup playing in the background.

“Last year, we weren’t that prepared—we’d dance, but none of us were sure of what we were doing,” said Summit junior and co-captain Bella Cox. “But now, we’re confident in what we do. Now we know what we’re doing, and we’re ready.”

For newer dancers, like Summit junior Ava Gourley, the practices have been essential to developing skills with a support system. Along with opportunities to choreograph, experienced dancers will lead newer attendees through different skills and routines.

“Going into it, I wasn’t that confident of a dancer, because I’ve never danced before,” said Gourley. “Improving so much has been so cool to see—watching our first performance video and then our most recent one—it’s insane how much I’ve grown, and how everyone else has grown as a team.”

Throughout the season, the team has had time to hone their skills at summer dance camps and extra practices, a special emphasis put on team bonding.

“We’ve just all gotten really close,” said Summit junior Kristina Johanson. “A lot of us were on the dance team last year, but this year, we went to dance camp, and we’ve been doing a lot more team bonding. So we’re like a second family now.”

For many sports, joining a team creates an instant community, and the dance team is a perfect example. Before every performance, the whole team goes to get their hair done, eating and practicing together as a team before they’re set to walk onstage.

“It’s been a really good experience,” said Gourley. “It’s been really comfortable, I would say. It took me a little while to get out of my shell, but since I’ve made friends, it’s been so fun.”

As the dance team has grown both in popularity and in skill, they’ve set their sights on a bigger goal, the state title. Later in the season, the team will start practicing for a competition in March; as of right now, however, the team is focusing their efforts on various kids camps and school performances. 

“We [are hosting] a couple more kids camps because we want to get our name out there,” said Monger. “We also want to be a good influence for younger kids who love dance, and are going to [attend] Summit.”

For many of the dancers on the team, the experience of having fun and being taught dance with friends is the entire point. Every assembly and sports game the Summit dance team attends, their hard work and dedication certainly seems to pay off.

“Sometimes, dance studios can cost a lot of money,” said Monger. “Whereas this, it’s not like you have to pay a monthly fee or anything. Once you’re on the team, you’re on the team. We all just want to dance and share our love for dance.”

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About the Contributor
Adri Jolie
Adri Jolie, Co-Editor-In-Chief

“Mom, I finally made it in the newspaper! Are you proud?”

A brilliant mind and philanthropist, Adri enjoys classical music, regular music, rock music and all other types of music, as well as various forms of art, writing and anthropology, and tormenting her poor editors. Contact with any pertinent inquiries.

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