Wakefield Dance Team exceeds expectations coming back on stage

Stephanie Arana and Abby Dykes

Wakefield High School’s dance team has grown over the years from only having one group of dancers to now having two teams, jv and varsity, where the girls spend their season growing and competing for yet another successful year. They had many obstacles these last few years with not only Covid-19. Also the challenge of putting together a team of girls that will bring not only skills to the group but also provide a healthy environment. 

“Choreography has to be executed at a high level,” Proctor said. “I want them to look amazing on stage”.

Ten years ago in the fall of 2012, dance teacher Shannon Proctor made the decision to establish Wakefield High School’s first dance team. She aimed for the team members to be not just skilled and talented, but in addition have positive attitudes and be willing to work hard on achieving their goals. 

“Technique will always improve if [the dancers] remain dedicated and positive throughout the season,” Proctor said. 

Coming back from Covid was difficult for everyone, but for the dance team it just meant working harder on their sport to make up for lost time. Along with the team having to be in their best mindsets, the captains also have a lot riding on them this season to help push their team to be better than ever. 

Team captains this year were seniors Ella Romano, Merritt Williamson and Helen Ransom. To kick off their final year here at Wakefield, they worked together to lead their team into yet another successful season.

We love motivating each other to constantly try our best.

— Murphy

Senior Ella Romano has been on the Varsity team every year of her high school career. When she first stepped onto the floor, it was unexpected to see a freshman on the team along with many upperclassmen. She became the first freshman to ever be chosen to be on the varsity team at Wakefield.

“Being the only freshman on the varsity team was so intimidating yet such an amazing experience,” Romano said. 

The team has always done a good job at making a welcoming environment for all the girls, striving to make it a comfortable place for everyone. They all had to work together to not only make themselves strong but to make the team better as a whole. 

Wakefield junior Halley Murphy, who has been on the dance team for three years now, speaks very highly of the Wakefield dance community. 

“We are really just one big family,” Murphy said. “We love motivating each other to constantly try our best.”

 It seems that the motivation has been working, as the team won North Carolina State Championships this past competition. 

“I cannot even put into words the happiness and shock we all felt,” Murphy said. “We were so proud of our work.” 

Recently, the dance team has started going back to competition with their eye on the state championship. A regular competition day for them starts bright and early, with the girls assuring that they have all their supplies to be prepared. On top of it all, the girls must start to mentally prepare to get on the stage and shine. 

Their biggest competition was the North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities Dance Competition, where they competed with their hip-hop and pom routines. Both Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity competed against other teams, having JV competing against teams that were possibly higher in level. The competition ended with JV placing 5th and Varsity becoming 2022 NCHS Dance Team State Champions. 

“The focus for both teams was to go out and do their very best,” Proctor said. 

 There are many plans in the near future for our Wakefield Dance Team, and slowly but surely, it will all come together. 

“Make it the strongest performance of the year,” Proctor said.