The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The WHS Dance Team is back and better than ever

Photo by Julia Murphy
Dance team performance on Jan. 30

During their first performance of the year on Jan. 30, the members of the WHS Dance Team emerged from the wings of the gym and strutted onto the floor. Beginning with their heads down and quickly transitioning into intricate arm movements, they exuded confidence from their first steps. They progressed through their routine with ease, despite tiresome and demanding movements like a cartwheel over another dancer’s legs. The audience was mesmerized. It’s official, the Dance Team’s season has begun.

The WHS Dance Team began in 2019 and skipped a season due to COVID-19, but the team was revived in 2022 for their second complete season. The team currently has four captains leading them this year: seniors Cate Weinstein, Olivia Berger, Liza Jashari and junior Natalie Fole.

One of the main goal of the team is to open up a space for dancers in the WHS community. There are many dancers who are on competition teams or just practice outside of the school who did not have that outlet at WHS until the dance team was created.

The team practices twice a week in Cafeteria A, and the captains have the freedom to produce all of their own choreography. “It’s a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. Having the freedom to do what we want and how we want is amazing,” said Berger.

The Dance Team is considered a club, not an official athletic team, so they do not receive any funding from the district. To compensate for this, Club Advisor and WHS English Teacher Kimberly Gosen-Fowler, along with the team captains, decided to look for different ways to raise money.

Earlier this year, the team applied for a grant through the Westfield Coalition for the Arts resulting in a grant from HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands). The application invited any individual artists or scholars to apply. After winning the grant, HEART contributed portable mirrors to the team for the 2024-25 season. “One of the key things for dancers is precision,” Gosen-Fowler said. “It’s not just about vanity, it’s about making sure you are doing it properly; precision is everything when working with other people.” The team is hopeful that this new addition to their practices will make the team even stronger.

The team also did a popcorn fundraiser where each dancer got their own account and through that event, the team raised over $4,000. This money went into the team’s general fund for future years. For the foreseeable future, the team will have funds available for new music and possibly more professional coaching. The money raised also went towards new uniforms. “The uniforms are a very important part of us trying to look more professional and more like a dance team,” Gosen-Fowler said.

It’s obvious that the Dance Team has experienced new improvements to their squad in a short period of time. You can watch them perform at the boys and girls basketball home games and the Student vs.  Staff Basketball Game right before spring break.

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