Swingin’ Back into the School Year: Starlettes Receive a New Dance Coach


The dance team kicks off the first assembly of the school year.

It’s been over three months since Ms.Washington parted ways with our school, and a couple months since the school’s new dance teacher, Ms. Schmidt arrived to teach the girls.

On the first day of school, the dance team danced to “Soul Bossa Nova”, otherwise known as the Austin Powers theme song, and the difference was noted. The girls have been doing modern, pop dances, and the transition from that to a jazzy number, was “cute and playful” as sophomore Ryanna Henson described it.

The new coach, Ms. Schmidt, has danced all over the world, including in Germany, France, and the Netherlands, and had worked at the University of Oklahoma for 10 years.

The ARS Starlettes twirl as they dance to "Soul Bossa Nova". They attended camp over the summer to learn this dance.
The ARS Starlettes twirl as they dance to “Soul Bossa Nova”. They attended camp over the summer to learn this dance.

“I was inspired to teach by my dance teacher,” said Schmidt. “They were very giving with everything they gave me, and I’ve always wanted to be a dance teacher ever since I was in high school, so this is a dream come true.”

“Our new teacher Ms. Schmidt is actually really good. She’s very professional and she knows what she’s doing, and she respects all of our ideas, and she’s actually trying to get to know us all as individuals, and dancers, which I really respect,” said 10th grader Giani Bright, who has been on the dance team since her freshman year and has been dancing since her 11th birthday.

Bright, the new captain of the dance team, mentioned working with Ms. Schmidt to incorporate some of last year’s styles into this year.

“She is going to put a lot of responsibility on me, and we’re going to be working with our co-captain, which isn’t decided yet, and she’s going to make me be in charge of dances and choreography, and we’re going to be doing more hip-hop and jazzy stuff,” Bright said.

“We are going to work on jazz, contemporary, and our co-captain Giani Bright is co-choreographing a hip-hop piece,” said Schmidt, “So we’re going to be doing a lot of different styles of dance. I think the language is universal. Everyone can understand it, and that’s what I love about dance.”

This year instead of auditioning to get a spot on the team, you showed up to rehearsals and you were automatically on the team. There are some new faces to the team, but some familiar faces were seen on the first day. Junior dance team veteran Michelle Arredondo gave her input on this upcoming dance season

“I just feel that this year is going to be so good and we’re going to have so much fun. I’m really excited for competition. Competition last year was so fun,” Arredondo said.