Dancing queens: Starlettes get a fresh start with new sponsors


Starlettes pose with new dance co-sponsors Ms. Danielle Willie and Ms. Doy Roberts. Photo by Maddy Schell.

The Ann Richards dance team acquires two new dance sponsors- middle school english teacher, Ms. Danielle Willie and STARS teacher Ms. Doy Roberts- after former dance teacher, Holly Schimdt, leaves for the 2016-2017 school year.

“I knew the girls needed a sponsor,” Ms. Willie said. “Some of them have been part of the dance team since they started high school, and that’s something they feel really passionate about.”

Current dance team captain, Giani Bright (11) has been dancing with the school’s dance team since her eighth grade year.

“Every year we’ve had different teachers,” Bright said. “It’s been an experience, because they were all very different, and all had very different styles of dancing and running the team.”

Returning dance team members shared feelings about how this year’s dance routines have varied from the past. Emily Garza (10) shared that the dance routines are “leaning more towards hip hop this year” as opposed to last years ballet and contemporary pieces.

“Dance is open to… everything,” Ms. Roberts said. “[I think we’re] building that sort of culture that everyone can embrace.”

Several members of the dance team bring in a variety of backgrounds.

“I’m really excited that we’re working on bringing different cultures into the dances,” Ms. Willie said.

Garza performs ballet folklorico, a traditional Latin American style of folkloric dance; Ashwara Pillai (10) dances a more Bollywood style of dance, Bright has been classically trained outside of school for eight years and Beverly Castellanos (12), co-lieutenant has some background in more Spanish styles of dancing.

“Everybody kinda has a different expertise,” Ms. Willie said. “[The girls are] bringing that all together to make something really beautiful.”

Both the dance team and its sponsors have several opportunities this year to show off their new style.

“We are able to do more now not just performing in pep rallies,” Bright said.  “We are trying to perform at football games, like how the band is doing, and that’s our next step- but I feel like every year we are improving, which is good.”