Dance team performs at Orange Bowl

By: Agatha Fenech

orangebowlThe New Year’s Eve fireworks burst above senior Josie Speltz’s head as she looked at the sky above the Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami. The sequin-clad CFHS dance team performed three routines as part of the country-themed halftime show, alongside band Little Big Town.

After Orange Bowl scouters noticed the team’s two years of successful state performances, they invited the dance team in May to come perform at the Orange Bowl. The team raised money to pay for the trip through several different fundraisers, such as working ballpark concessions and selling spirit cards, and 13 members of the team and coaches Alyssa Nolte and Gayle Bruene flew from Minneapolis to Miami for four days between Christmas and the start of school.

Aside from rehearsals for the half-time show, the girls had opportunities to take classes from famous choreographers and dancers. “I liked the Bollywood class; it was a very different style of dance from what I am used to, and it was fun to learn something new. The teacher was Longiness Fernandes, who choreographed for Slumdog Millionaire,” Speltz said.

Junior Sommer Danielsen said she also enjoyed the hip-hop class. “We got to learn from Nicki Minaj’s choreographer. It was an amazing experience because the way he taught was totally different from any other class I took. I learned how to dance according to the underlying beats rather than counts, which is important in hip hop.”

Coach and adviser Gayle Bruene also appreciated what a great experience it was, as it was the first time the team has gone to the Orange Bowl in all her years of coaching: “It was an awesome experience for the girls; the choreographers they got to work with were phenomenal.”

In addition to the dance convention, the team had time to bond. “There was not much free time, but during lunch we would go to the pool,” Danielsen said. The girls would also all go out to eat together, and there was a semi-formal dance for all the dancers at the Orange Bowl, who hailed from all over the country.

On New Year’s Eve, Mississippi State and Georgia Tech played in the Orange Bowl, resulting in a victory for Georgia Tech. “It was really fun, because we all got to sit together, and the crowds were really into it. We fed off their energy,” Speltz said.

Just like the fireworks above the stadium, the CFHS dance team burst into the new year, ready to continue its hard work and passion.

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