Dance team headed to state competition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

When exams are over and school is out, we think of sleeping late, no school and vacations.

While that’s true for most kids and teachers, that’s not so for one bunch.

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The Selma High dance team, The Pride of Selma, is up before the sun and on the practice field by 5 a.m. The team practices twice a day, five to six days a week.

After morning rehearsal, they are back at it come 5 p.m.

This rigorous schedule paid off for them last year when the team brought home the first place trophy in the Alabama State University Summer Band Camp competition.

They also won the 2004 competition at Miles College.

This year, the team is headed back to camp at Miles College in Birmingham, July 9-15.

The team – composed of seven members – along with the team sponsor and dedicated parents,

are responsible for raising the money to make it to camp.

Their goal is to raise $1,500. With donut sales, fish fries, ticket raffles, car washes and donations, the team has raised just over $800.

“We have to take donations,” said LaTanglia Williams, Health teacher and dance team sponsor.

The pride of Selma’s expenses will surpass their raised funds.

The registration fee is $200 per student, which includes room and board, an instruction fee, activities and three meals a day.

Times seven that’s $1,400.

The team plans to charter a bus to the competition, which will be a bit more than the remaining $100.

Day to day supplies are also an expense. The team also needs things such as Gatorade to quench their thirst on a hot field, bug repellent and Benadryl. “Some are allergic to different things,” said Williams.

Any young lady considering joining the dance team must be physically fit – or prepared to get whipped into shape – mentally focused and academically qualified.

The criteria for joining the team include a minimum 2.5 G.P.A., strong recommendations from their teachers, must not have been in the student adjustment program (SAP) or in an alternative school.

Although the team is small, “I’m looking for quality, not quantity,” said Williams.

Co-captain Jasmine Davis, 16, has 13 years of dance experience and loves being on the dance team.

Davis holds a 3.5 G.P.A. and is in Selma Early College High School.

Co-captain Shaquaveia Hooks says, “Dancing is something you feel.

If you’re not feeling it, then it’s not something you’re going to be up to.”

Hooks holds a 3.3 G.P.A.

Dance team captain, Laquanda Fails, is a fourth year veteran and holds a 4.25 G.P.A. and is No. 1 in her class.

In preparation for the competition, the girls are on a Special K diet where two meals are substituted by a bowl of cereal.

“It’s hard, but it’s worth it to look good on the field and in that two-piece,” says Fails.

Fails joined the dance team after giving up cheerleading.

Fails said that her cheerleading sponsor used to tell her that she put too much movement into her routines.

Fails says she loves being on the dance team because she enjoys choreographing the routines with her teammates and performing for the crowd.

The Pride of Selma is excited about this year’s competition and seem to have the will and mindset to be first place again this year. They are asking for continued support from the community.