The Fall Season is Done… But The Dalerettes Are Not

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Riley Preiss, Staff Writer

Football season has officially come to a close. Fall sports are over and winter sports are finally in full swing in Farmingdale High School. What many people don’t know is that the Dalerettes, who perform with the Marching Band at halftime during football games, still have another season to go. Yes, we even have a winter season.

Winter season is pretty intense. If you happen to walk through the commons after school in the coming months, chances are, you’ll find us practicing. There are four different teams of which you can be a part. All have their own tryouts, and spots on the team are very competitive. The dance team this year has nine girls on it. This year’s dance style is lyrical (a slow song, kind of a mix of many dance styles). Captains Molly Joseph, Camryn Kopetic, Dayna Rocha, and Kayla Poltorak have spent long hours choreographing the dance to Florence and The Machine’s Over the Love. The team will practice the dance hard for the next two months, cleaning and perfecting before our first competition in January.

The Pom team is just as competitive as dance with many of the same girls on both teams. Unlike the freshman pom routine performed at halftime with the band, this dance is much faster and more difficult. Pom dances have to be sharp and precise; this means hours of practice a week are dedicated to making sure we all look exactly the same. The music is fast paced and a mix of many different songs and background sound effects, similar to the mixes cheerleaders use. This year, the team had a choreographer make up the dance. Danielle Bradle, the graduated captain of Hofstra University’s national title winning dance team and member of the USA National Dance Team, has choreographed a very challenging dance for us this year, with a lot of new tricks and moves we’ve never done before. She taught the team the dance in the span of two days, and a total of seven hours. Captains Dayna Rocha, Riley Preiss, and Molly Joseph have the task of making sure the team of 12 girls look their best performing her choreography.

For the first time ever, there is a hip hop competition team this year. Following tryouts that were open to the whole school, we have a team of 14 people, both boys and girls. Captains Kayla Poltorak and Camryn Kopetic have choreographed a hip hop dance and everyone is looking forward to seeing the finished product. It is a very difficult job they have taken on because the Dalerettes have never participated in this style before and it is a very competitive genre when the team goes to competitions. The biggest challenge is getting everyone to dance the same way, because many members of the team attend various dance studios on Long Island, and as a result have been trained in different ways.

Our fourth team is known as Open. It is not a competitive team; it instead will perform at a few Farmingdale Varsity Basketball games this winter. It will also be performing at The Brooklyn Nets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves game at the Barclays Center on January 3rd. This will be the third year in a row that Open has had this opportunity. If any students or teachers are interested in attending the game with their families or friends, Dalerettes are selling tickets for $25.  It will be a lot of fun. The team of 23 girls are excited to show their pep-rally-like dance choreographed by captains Sophia Badalamente, Riley Preiss, and Skyla Warshawsky. The dance is a mix of songs and the styles of pom, kick, and dance.

The winter season is definitely a busy one for our teams this year. A lot of students don’t realize that we are still performing and competing this time of the year, but our coaches and captains are hoping for an amazing Open performance and a successful competition season. It is the best feeling to see all of our work pay off. The dance world is obviously subjective and so scoring is different depending on each competition. The general categories we are judged on include technique, execution, placement, costume, overall performance, expression, and energy. We have a lot of tough competition in our categories, schools including Sachem and Bethpage being national titleholders. Last year, our competitive Pom team placed in the top 3 at both The Scholastic Kickline Competition and Dance Team Union (DTU). We are hoping for an even better season this year and the goal would be to place with all of our teams. The Dalerettes will be attending four competitions this January and be competing against many Long Island high school dance teams in addition to teams from New Jersey and Upstate New York. Hopefully the winter of 2018 will be a successful season for our team!

* Photo courtesy of Lifetouch