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Life of a Dancer

Three dancers from different teams share about their experiences

Araceli Cruz-Gonzales, Emily Rowe, Nalani Nuylan, Online Editor, Co-Editor in Chief, Managing Editor

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The Royals dance team grandly represents some of the school’s best fine arts talent. Each member dedicates her time and energy to performing at football games and other performances or competitions. Junior Khaleshca Abawan is one of these dancers.

“Performing at games and dance performances is pretty much the same, because each of us gives our all and puts the same amount of effort into each routine,” Abawan said. “ It’s great to perform in front of others and be a part of this awesome team.”

Royals prepare extensively for each performance by practicing before, during and after school.

“We don’t just learn a routine and perform it,” Abawan said.  “We spend hours cleaning up each routine, because we believe the audience deserves a great performance.”

Before every football game, the Royals have certain traditions they keep. Each week, they have breakfast with some of the special needs students, have a team dinner in the cafeteria and select a Royal of the Week.

“We also have a team prayer and chant,” Abawan said. “We say our prayer thanking God for the sisterhood we share, state our five core values and ask for guidance in each of our performances.”

One of the Royals’ upcoming performances off of the football field will be iDance Oct. 25-26, where dancers will showcase a variety of routines.

“We continue to give our all in each performance, no matter who’s in the audience,” Abawan  said. “I love the sisterhood we have and the fact that I’m surrounded by other people who love doing what we do.”



While participating in this year’s band show, Lotus, senior Emily Nobles and the team of Rhythm dancers add beautiful visuals and color to help it stand out. The girls are not part of color guard, but while performing with the band, they focus mainly on dance and using props to add another dimension to each show.

“My favorite part about being on Rhythm is the opportunity to be a part of both the dance department and the band program,” Nobles said. “Being able to dance in the band show, learn their procedure and meet the crazy talented kids in the band, as well as focusing on technical dance training, dancing in Royal Revue, and training in other dance genres like hip hop and contemporary, is a unique opportunity that I’m thankful to have been given. Being on Rhythm has made me such a stronger dancer, making me more adaptable and giving me the perfect blend of both drill team and marching season stylings.”

RDC practices in and out of school to perfect their passion and prepare for upcoming competitions.

“Rhythm has a sectional on Monday for almost three hours, then we have full band rehearsals Wednesday and Thursday for almost three hours,” Nobles said. “Fridays include an hour and half practice after school. Those nights last until midnight or later due to gameday. Saturdays don’t always include contests, but when they do, for a leader like me, the day goes from 8 a.m.  to midnight or later. We also have class every A day. That’s a lot of practice time during the week, and we always give 100 percent in rehearsal.”

Before a competition, RDC has certain traditions they keep up with to motivate them and help them do their best on the field.

“Team-wise, Rhythm has a tradition of saying a team prayer and a team chant that we circle up and recite before every performance,” Nobles said. “Personally, my tradition is that [senior] Elliot Esquivel and I jump up and clap in unison right before we get set for the beginning of the show.”

Through the tough work and endless hours, Nobles focuses on the positives of being a part of the program.

“Being on Rhythm is a lot of hard work and requires a lot of time spent working with the team, but it’s unexplainably so worth it,” Nobles said. “It’s tough, but I have an entire team of wonderful ladies going through the same situation who always surround me with support and love. Rhythm Dance Company has been an important piece of my life and my high school career, and I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to be on such an incredible team.”


Dance Prep

Freshman Natalie Sinha, who is currently in the dance prep class, is preparing to be a member of the Royals or Rhythm Dance Company. She has been dancing for 10 years and would like to continue her career during high school.

“Every day in dance prep is like an audition, so there is a lot of pressure to do well,” Sinha said. “It’s kind of overwhelming, but it’s good because it keeps me in the right mindset when I enter class. I have to be serious, because the impressions I make on the coaches matter.”

Sinha’s passion for the art sparked when she attended Cedar Park Dance Company. While at Stiles Middle School, Sinha joined the Golden Sparks Dance Team and participated during her seventh and eighth grade years. She was head company leader during her eighth grade year.

Even though she’s preparing to be part of her next dance team, Sinha enjoys being part of a class that allows her to continue doing what she loves. She is looking most forward to Royal and Rhythm tryouts in December, but is currently focusing on learning the pom combo routine that she will perform at the Oct. 20 football game.

“I am excited to be back on the field,” Sinha said. “I am really passionate about each performance. It’s a way to express myself, because each routine is a blend of being an artist and an athlete, and I feel like that’s me.”


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