Dance Team: Combining Artistry and Athletics

Photo by Julie Samuels

By Elana Volfinzon

Arts Reporter

They are the powerful team that never fails to impress; the group of girls that work many hours to put on an amazing show during half time at sports events. They are the Newton South dance team.

Right now, the Newton South dance team is composed of 20 girls and is led by Senior Captain Sammy Saada. Though the group includes members with varying degrees of dance experience, they never fail to fire up the field with their unique, fast, and meticulously choreographed dance moves.

Although the team is comprised solely of girls, it is always open to boys as well. But anyone interested in joining better be ready to commit.

The girls meet for two full-hour practices on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday every week. On top of that, their season runs through two-thirds of the school yeah.

This team differs from other south sports teams because they perform in front of large crowds, mainly composed of parents and students during a variety of sporting events.

“There is a certain vibe to performing in front of a big crowd which makes me have so much fun when I’m performing,” junior Nika Faraji said. “There is no other feeling like it. I am able to do what I love in front of everyone.”

Although performing in front of people can be scary, it is one of the aspects of dance team that the girls enjoy most. 

“The crowd cheering us on always makes us want to dance harder,” Saada said. The vibe that is received from a cheering group of watched is definitely impossible to replicate.

In addition to halftime performances, the dance team goes on three competitions annually. This year they qualified for states after getting first place at a local competition.

For all the performances they do, dance team tries to make between 4-6 new dances a year. All of these dances are choreographed and led by Saada.

The team clearly shines on the field, but they’ve also been pushing to improve their standing off of it, as well.

“Dance Team has been a huge part of my high school experience and performing is definitely one of my favorite parts,” Saada said. “Starting off my freshman year, the dance team didn’t really have that great of a reputation. When I was voted captain my junior year, my goal was to make dance team more diverse and well liked at South. I think that the team as a whole has done a great job with bringing our reputation up. Many kids of all grades love watching us perform and that makes me really happy.”

With her passion for the sport, Saada was able influence many aspects of the team, creating a space where all the dancers can form a bond with each other.

Reflecting on members of the team Saada said, “I love the bond I have with every girl on the team. We all have gotten really close in past years and the new members of the team fit right in.”

Although the dance team is different in the way that their performances are in front of significantly larger crowds, they share common qualities with every other athletic team at South: dedication, spirit, and a close-knit bonds for all its members.