Chevals competes with little defeat


Photo by Rosie Nichols

The chavels performed Feb. 8. During halftime at the varsity boys basketball game. Along with them were junior dancers from around the community.

Rosie Nichols, Layout Editor

Energy, excitement and poise can be seen within the Stillwater Dance team, who are formally known as the Chevals. This group of ladies spend the majority of their fall and winter dancing for the Stillwater Area High School, and they could not be more eager.

The Stillwater Dance team are a close knit group of dancers who perform during a number of Pony sporting events, school wide pep-fests and more commonly, at competitions. The dance team includes a wide variety of ages, backgrounds and talents, but they all share the love for dance.

The dance team enjoy performing for an audience, but putting aside the competitive aspect of the team leaves a refreshing sense of togetherness. Dancing on its own requires an immense load of self-harmony and grace, while dancing with a group of individuals requires a certain intimacy that could not be accomplished without a strong connection throughout the team.  

“I like being able to have fun with my friends while doing something I like,” sophomore and captain Grace Riehle said.

While this group of dancers look the part while the seemingly effortless choreography is executed to the sound of a modern pop song, keeping composure always takes practice. On any sports team, especially ones occupied by teenagers, strengths and weaknesses are known to arise. Although these strengths and weaknesses become more prominent as the season progresses, it shows a great deal of maturity to overcome an issue and resolve conflict.

People aren’t aware that we have a competitive team, and that we have a JV competitive team. People know we have a fall team, but the dance team continues during the winter season and is a winter sport.”

— Olivia Lind

One main conflict the team deals with each and every season, is getting new dancers to tryout. While most school sports have a full roster of athletes, the Stillwater dance team must put in the extra work to exceed expectations with the 13 dancers they currently have.

“Strengths we have are talking to each other to figure things out and we also have a lot of technique as a whole. Our weaknesses are trying to grow in numbers,” sophomore and captain Olivia Lind said.

On and off the dance floor, these dancers are putting their best foot forward in trying to accomplish a successful season. The dancers practice individually as well as with the entire group, but the dancers all know when they walk into the gym, it is a relatively self-guided practice. Most students or spectators who have seen the team perform may not realize, they are a highly competitive dance team when they are not taking part in halftime shows or pep-fests. They are involved in competitions involving other dance teams throughout the area and have achieved high rankings in many.

“People aren’t aware that we have a competitive team, and that we have a JV competitive team. People know we have a fall team, but the dance team continues during the winter season and is a winter sport,” Lind said.

As the team approaches their final performance for the 2018-19 school year, the team is impressed by their results throughout the season. The most recent success is receiving second place at conference finals. This team is very proud of their achievements throughout this season and they intend on coming back stronger each and every year they return.