Dance team takes center stage at showcase

by Ben Frotscher

The Simpson dance team is used to performing at the halftimes of sporting events, but once a year, the team gets a chance to showcase its stuff.

“Winter Showcase 2005” made the dance team more than the halftime entertainment. It was the center of attention.

Besides the Simpson team, four high schools and one middle school also performed at the showcase. Dance team coach Becky Gripp said the team puts on the showcase annually. She said the showcase benefits both the dance team and the community.

“It gets the team more involved in the community,” Gripp said. “The kids get to go out there and dance around and have fun.”

Junior Alyssa Pressler agreed with her coach.

“The showcase really showed that we can do a variety of routines and we are able to get involved in the community with the little kids,” Pressler said.

The children Gripp referred to were participants in the clinic that the team put on the night before the showcase.

“It was a two-hour clinic,” sophomore Jen Orchard said. “We had kids from kindergarten to fifth grade. They came out and learned about a minute routine and performed it at our show.”

Gripp said it cost $25 to attend the clinic and about 25 girls took part in it. After attending the clinic, the girls had the opportunity to perform at the Winter Showcase. The participants were all given a T-shirt as well.

The girls who attended the clinic were divided into three age groups. The groups were then taught a dance choreographed by Simpson’s dance team.

Each group performed to a different weather- or Storm-related song at the showcase, such as “I Can See Clearly Now” and “Sunshine Day.”

Besides having fun teaching the children some new dance steps, the clinic and showcase will benefit the dance team monetarily. The team charged admission to the showcase, and the money from these two events will help it continue to function and perform at Simpson events.

“The money will be going to new uniforms and to run the program,” Gripp said.

Gripp said the clinic and showcase weren’t the only sources of money for the dance team. The team also runs concession stands during athletic events to help pay the bills.

Pressler said the team stayed pretty busy this season and the money will help fund activities for the students on the team in the future.

“We perform at football and basketball games,” Pressler said. “We also went to a few other drill team performances.”

While the showcase is the highlight of the season for team, it also means the end of the season for the 11 Simpson women who are part of it.

“It’s a way to end the year,” Orchard said. “We work really hard during the year and it’s kind of a final performance for us.”