Dance team places 14th in the nation at UDA Nationals


Photo Courtesy to Doug Owens

WHS Dance Team entertains the student body during football games.

Wakefield’s dance team traveled to Orlando, Fla. to take part in the the 2019 National Dance Team Championship (NDTC), at Walt Disney World Resort. Over the course of three days, the dance team competed against teams across the nation. They left their mark upon the championship, as they were the first team from North Carolina to compete. Even though this was their first time gracing the NDTC stage, the team placed 14th in the nation; a feat that many of the dancers would cherish forever.

Being new to NDTC, the dance team felt a surge of emotions, as they were new fish in a larger pond of more experienced fish. For senior dancer, Kendall Boston, the anticipation of the championship influenced her to become quite nervous about the event.

“It was nerve-wracking not knowing what was going to happen because we have never been there before, but it was also exciting getting to see all the other teams,” Boston said. “We just practiced a lot, and just whatever happened on stage was going to happen.”

A similar train of thought followed with other members of the team. Gretchen Stanicek, co-captain of the dance team, felt herself becoming anxious about the event but came to the conclusion that enjoying the moment was most important; subtracting from the drama of the team.

I think I have just become a harder worker. It’s a different kind of discipline then what I am used to, and just the technique and everything is very different, and so it has motivated me to work hard in different ways

— Wright

“I was really nervous because all of the teams were really good and I didn’t know what to expect,” Stanicek said. “I just wanted to have fun, and normally we have a few problems with drama and friends, so I wanted to avoid that at all costs.”

This motivating attitude allowed the team to negate their stress, and give their all at the competition. In the end, this would prove beneficial to their success, and they would find it humbling to place 14th in the nation. Stanicek was extremely proud of the team, and all that they could accomplish at the championship.

“It was exciting. It was a lot better than we thought it was going to be,” Stanicek said. “It’s cool to get recognition since we were the only team from anywhere near where we live.”

Photo Courtesy to Doug Owens
Junior, Emma Whaley performs her heart out during the football game.

For many of the dancers, the dance team has impacted and revolutionized themselves in positive ways. It has proven to bolster their leadership skills, improve their confidence, and help build lifelong friendships. Peyton Wright, senior co-captain, understands the impact of dance greatly.

“I’ll definitely miss my friendships that I’ve built; most of my best friends are on the dance team,” Wright said. “I think I have just become a harder worker. It’s a different kind of discipline then what I am used to, and just the technique and everything is very different, and so it has motivated me to work hard in different ways.”

Now a chapter is coming to an end, and the dance team’s seniors will leave, creating spaces for future dancers to join and become leaders in their own right. Junior, Madison Haskett, is hopeful of the future, and takes into consideration the impact that the seniors have had on her.

“There is going to be a lot of younger kids, so I feel like it will be a good refresher, good new energy, and I think it will be good to have a new start,” Haskett said. “Dance team has made me more versatile. I am used to being a studio dancer, and I have never done Pom (a style of dance using pom-poms), so it was new for me to do dance team. The seniors have really impacted every dance that I have ever done. It will be hard to let them go.”

Offering some advice to those that wish to join Wakefield’s dance team, senior, Abby Buenviaje affirms those to remain dedicated and keep their motivation for dance high.

“Always show that you are dedicated, and always know why you dance because if you have that passion for dance then it will show in your movements,” Buenviaje said. “I think Ms. Proctor really cares more about how dedicated you are rather than your skill, and how hardworking you can be.”

Wakefield’s dance team has definitely left a mark with this dance season, and Buenviaje speaks on how important a legacy can be, especially to herself and the future of the team.

“Ms. Proctor always talks about leaving a legacy behind; making yourself known or remembered on the team. I just wanted to make sure that I did everything that I could,” Buenviaje said.