The dance team typically holds their tryouts in the spring. After spring tryouts are over the team will have the summer to practice and get ready for their season. When IHSA announced that they would not be hosting tryouts for the time being, varsity dance coaches Erin Johnson and Anna Oswald took action. They developed a virtual summer camp for eight weeks that would connect all the potential dancers with each other. This camp will allow the coaches to see the dancers perform and give them feedback.
“When we heard that the IHSA was not endorsing virtual tryouts we wanted to find a way to keep all of our dancers connected this summer as well as open it up to any Metea students who are interested in joining,” head coach Erin Johnson said. “I wanted the team to have an opportunity to work on their skills this summer as well as connect with their peers.”
The performers will be shown new material on Mondays during camp sessions. These materials will have dancers do different exercises that will have them focus on staying in shape and learning new techniques and dances.
To get feedback from their coaches, dancers will send in videos that will show them doing their new choreographies. The videos will be sent in through an application called the BAND app that also allows them to communicate with each other.
“You are able to create separate private groups such as ‘varsity dance team’ and ‘varsity dance parents’ where you can post photos, videos, do group, and individual chats, attendance, sign ups, and polls all in one place. I’ve found it to be the best and safest way to communicate with students and parents,” Johnson said.
The opportunities and activities that are given to the students are not required. The main goal of this program is to give everyone the ability to work on different skills that will get them prepared for the next season. Newcomers are given the chance to test the waters of being on the dance team.
There are a few expectations that should be followed throughout the summer. Their main one is that everyone should try their best so that the coaching staff can help them improve their different dance techniques and movements.
“Although it will be a challenge without a coach and team physically present, I think it will be a good challenge to see how much each student can improve on their own at home,” Johnson said.
Students who are interested in registering for the virtual summer camp can sign up here. The deadline to register is next Friday.