The S. C. Lee Junior High School Starlettes Dance Team has proven to be a champion both on and off the dance floor.
The team recently competed in the American Dance/Drill Team Competition after months of hard work, pain, sweat and literal tears.
Last year, the Starlettes lost their director the day before summer camp. The captain moved to a different school and, out of the 15 girls on the team, only three were returning from the previous year. The new director had limited dance experience and no experience directing. It seemed the odds were stacked against this team, said new director Jessica Eaker.
“In the face of all these challenges, the Starlettes of S.C. Lee pulled together and worked incredibly hard to polish and perfect their technique in time for competition,” Eaker said. “There were a few mistakes made, as with any performance, but the Lee Starlettes were proud of what they had accomplished and how far they had come since the beginning of the year.”
The anxiety of the dancers was apparent as the time for their performance drew near. They displayed excellent sportsmanship cheering for each of the other teams, offering them words of encouragement before they performed and congratulating them when they returned.
When the announcer introduced the Starlettes, the girls walked to their positions trying to hide the fear and doubt they felt. Giving their best performance, the S. C. Lee Starlettes received a Division 2 score.
Starlettes Captain Jaelynn Linker marveled at group’s improvement over the last nine months.
“We have gotten so much better since the beginning of the (school) year,” Linker said.
Eaker said the Starlettes can hold their heads high knowing they are improving with every practice.
“My girls have shown that they are completely dedicated to improving and perfecting their craft,” Eaker said, “I am constantly amazed at how hard they work, not only in practice but on their own time to get better.”