Step With Pep

Growth and determination power the dance team forward


Addison Eden

The NHS dance team brings the sass during a halftime performance at the boys varsity basketball game.

   Music blares and ponytails swing as the Nixa High School dance team busts out their moves. Thirteen young girls are ready to present the crowd with their masterpiece — a collection of hard work and determination. 

     For the 2021-2022 season, thirteen girls were selected to be on the dance team. Among them was dance captain Shelby Keithley, who says that this season has been one filled with great accomplishments. 

     “My greatest accomplishment this season is getting to perform in Disney with three of the other girls,” Keithley said. “We got to bond and experience a magical moment together. Seeing the smiles on the young kids’ faces was the [purest] thing ever.” 

     The team’s co-captain Olivia Logan also says that this season has been one of achievement and growth. The team has shown great perseverance through all of the challenges thrown at them. 

     “The main challenge we have had to overcome this season would be some of our girls getting quarantined because of covid-19,” Logan said. “It’s always risky considering we are always together, so if one of us gets quarantined, we’re all getting quarantined.” 

     Both captains are very proud of their team, and have set goals for themselves in order to help further the team’s progress. Logan said that she’d like for the team to get out into the community.

     “I would like to get involved with the community more and to get the dance team’s name out more,” Logan said. “I would like to volunteer at some places in our town to just give back to the community.”

     Dance coach Cynthia Mejia agrees with the idea of getting the team out into the community, and  also wants to help the team with their technique growth.

     “Personally for team growth, I could require more conditioning from the girls to help with their turns and make them stronger,” Mejia said. “However I am just one person, and so as the program grows getting more help from the school or community would be very helpful.” 

     As the dance program expands, many girls hearing about it may wonder if they have enough experience. Keithley started her freshman year and worked her way up to dance captain. 

      “I have only been dancing since my freshman year and have just gained more experience through my four years,” Keithley said. “I worked up to that spot by working hard my freshman year and showing the older girls my drive for dance. I helped others who struggled and made friends with everyone on the team.” 

     While experience is not required, it can also be helpful. Logan used to dance around her house and joined a studio before making it to the high school dance team. 

       “I used to prance around my living room when I was little so my mom decided to put me in a dance class, I have loved it ever since,” Logan said. “When I got into highschool I wanted to get back into dance while also being involved in my school. I have met some of my best friends from being on this team.” 

     Any level of experience is welcome on the dance team at NHS, and anyone interested in joining the dance team should try out. Mejia says that people with positive and hard working attitudes would be good for the team.

       “Practice makes perfect and you have to have fun and let loose,” Mejia said. “Practicing helps make you stronger, learning combinations and tricks can be hard and not everyone gets it perfectly the first time trying, or second, third or tenth time.”