Drill team drills home routines


Natalie Guarino, Staffer

From August to March, it’s hard to miss the members of drill team. Whether sporting their uniforms on gameday Fridays, dancing on the sideline of football games or at the halftime of basketball games, or participating in competitions on the weekends, drill team girls are on the “grind” constantly.

Senior Navya Mohlajee says drill team is a big time commitment. “Practicing everyday for so many months is a lot, but it’s definitely worth it.”

The level of involvement required of drill team members is unique from other sports. On top of forming dance numbers for the games they perform at, drill team usually dances at up to four competitions throughout their season, which are daylong weekend events. This year, the team will conclude their season with a trip to the Universal Dance Association’s national competition in February.

For the competition, the team will travel to Walt Disney World for 4 days where they will dance against some of the best teams in the nation. Competing at such a high level is a big accomplishment for the team, they qualified for the competition at an elite summer camp.

Although drill team spends a lot of time dancing at football and basketball games, competitions take priority. “Competitions are much more stressful than [football or basketball] games; they’re the focus of our season,” says junior Ella Niermann.

Preparing for competitions is intense. Melinda Novotny, a drill team coach, says getting dance routines down is a strenuous task. “To get upwards of eighteen members to all do the same move at the exact same time and look similar doing it takes lots of repetition and nit picking at the moves.”

However, the members of drill team can see where a great performance goes above good execution of moves. According to Mohlajee, “Facial expressions make or break the dance. You can’t be afraid to put all your energy in it. Smiling helps me get more into the dance and have more fun.”

Keeping a fun atmosphere is essential for a cohesive team. With such a long season, drill team is successful because of the bond the teammates share. Niermann says, “Everyone on the team is so easy to get along with. They make everything we do better.”

Mohlajee loves the supportive environment of drill team. “If anyone‘s going through something we’re always there for them, it feels like I have a safe community to go to everyday after school. I love them all!”

As a coach, Novotny can appreciate the uniqueness of this group of athletes. “I absolutely love the team members, their different personalities, their varying dance talents, their funny stories and antics.

Through the time spent together, hard work put in, and good times had drill team is a true family. For Novotny, ¨[the drill team members] make me laugh and challenge me at the same time. It keeps things interesting!