Dancing Into Next Year: Chiefettes Try-Out for the 2019-20 Team

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Dancing Into Next Year: Chiefettes Try-Out for the 2019-20 Team

Yunju Lee, Staff writer

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With the 2018-19 school year winding down, the Chiefettes are getting ready for next year.

Chiefettes held tryouts for the 2019-20 team from in the gym from April 16 to 19. All students were allowed to try out. Students learned three routines over three days to perform in front of judges.

“The girls learned a competition style pom routine the first day, a competition style jazz routine the second day, and a sideline routine on the third day,” said Carmen Yarbrough, the Chiefettes coach.

In addition to learning the routines, the girls also had conditioning. Conditioning exercises included push-ups, squats, jumping jacks and jogging. After the girls learned the routines, they had time to practice afterward.

“Each day started out with some conditioning in order to start building up stamina for the routines, and to also test the girls’ physical fitness,” said Yarbrough. “Conditioning was followed by stretching, then learning the routine took place. After the routine was taught, there was time for questions and answers, and then we would play the music over and over again for practice and repetition.”

On the last day of tryouts, the girls showed all three routines to a panel of three judges. The three judges were people Yarbrough met through dance over the years. Judges were Madi Immel, a former Chiefette and a member of the University of Georgia’s Dance Dawgs and Georgettes, Caroline Keyes, a dance coach at Greater Atlanta Christian School, and Shannon Lashley, a longtime friend of Yarbrough and a high school dance coach in Alabama.

“Tryouts are always a mix of stress and excitement,” said junior Fernanda de la Mora.  “It’s always fun to see what is going to be expected from Chiefettes the next year and how Coach Yarbrough wants to start the season off. However, the day of tryouts is always a little stressful with the time sitting there and waiting to find out who made the team.”

13 girls made it on the 2019-20 team. Out of those 13, nine girls made it on the competition team.

“The girls selected for competition have a longer season,” said Yarbrough. “They will participate in the fall football season as well as winter competition season. They learn two to three competition routines during the summer and work on them all year until we compete. Non-competition is denoted as Spirit because they will participate in all spirit-raising activities.”

Most of the girls who made the team have had experience in either dance or gymnastics.

“I was in rhythmic gymnastics team before I moved here from Japan last year,” said sophomore Hana Arai. “I can meet lots of people through dance. The best thing about dance for me is an indescribable [feeling of] achievement after a bunch of practice.”

The 2019-20 competition team will begin learning routines for the next school year during the summer. They will be practicing about two or three competition routines.

“I’m looking forward to my senior season and really grasping all of the traditions that I’m going to do for the last time this year,” said de la Mora. “I’m excited to see how Chiefettes will play out this year but I’m ready for the season with my best friends.”

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