Chevals adapt to changes amidst COVID-19 guidelines

In the ever changing world, much has deviated from normalcy. As a nation we have had to adapt in order to continue to do the things that we love in life that have been changed in a few short months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Competitive dance has adapted to the new restrictions and changes by implementing new ways to practice. By utilizing the use of masks at all times and keeping a distance between the dancers as well as not allowing team bonding activities to occur in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Following the latest of a second round of lockdowns, practices for the Chevals have resumed but with a different format and more strict rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

Junior Sophie Privette explained, “The two teams, JV and Varsity aren’t allowed to interact with each other…whereas last year we’d ride the bus together…you can hang out with them and it’s like they are very much separated. They’re like their own separate teams.”

In years past, both the JV and the varsity Cheval teams were similar to one single team that was only ever truly separated on the score sheet. Now due to the ramifications of COVID-19, these two teams have had to separate and on top of that they have had to cancel any team bonding nights or other bonding events that help introduce new dancers to the team and allow for them to become stronger as a team.

Another change has been that dancers are unable to receive awards in person at the competition, they instead have to wait until later and the results are then emailed to the team. Another change related to the COVID-19 pandemic is major changes to the routines as compared to years past. 

“It doesn’t seem like much has changed but obviously a lot has, like, just having to be super careful with our routines and the rules have changed,” sophomore varsity captain Chelsea Stahl explained.

You can hang out with them and it’s like they are very much separated. They’re like their own separate teams.”

— Sophie Privette

The restrictions caused by the virus have changed the format for competitions as well. Stahl explained, “No spectators or anything…we aren’t seeing the JV team at all. We’re usually at the school for like the whole night and we can stand next to other teams and do awards and stuff. But we can’t do anything this year so we’re literally just going to the school and competing then leaving, so like 30 minutes in total. So just a lot more strict on rules and our kick teams will usually connect, like our arms. So like social distancing and just nothing’s really the same.” 

“We’re not even really sure about buses or anything. We don’t know if we can like be together,” Stahl said.

 “It looks like no busing, and if there were then we’d have to be like six feet apart obviously,” Privette added.

A more recent restriction for dance is the requirement for masks to be worn at all times instead of them being able to be removed for practice or during competitions. The new mask requirements are making performing routines.

“Very intense, like I really need to have a lot of endurance, like even last year, without masks, it was like you’d be struggling to breathe throughout because you’re just like kicking repetitively and it’s non stop, so that it’s kind of really difficult because you’re really so out of breath from it.  It’ll be something to get used to I guess,” Privette explained.

When asked about one thing the dancers wanted others to know about the team and about the sport of dance itself, Stahl said, “I feel like people misjudge us a lot, and so I feel like people should know that we’re a really welcoming group of girls, and boys. I feel like people have the wrong image of us from past years  and we all get super close super quickly and it’s just a good group to be around and it’s fun. Even if you don’t have dance experience, you can join like we really don’t care, we’re just looking to improve our team and make it bigger.”

If someone were looking to join the Chevals Dance team they could go to Stillwater Chevals Dance Team and get in contact that way and to get more information on the team.