Lancer Dancer freshmen change up the rhythm

The Lancer Dancer freshmen perform a small group number in the Lancer Dancer Showcase.

Seannie Bryan

The Lancer Dancer freshmen perform a small group number in the Lancer Dancer Showcase.

Riley Hoffman, staff writer

The Lancer Dancers seem to be a constant presence in Carlsbad, whether it be at the high school, around town or at one of the many competitions. However, many people are unaware that some of these elite dancers are only freshmen. This year Sophie DiPietro, Piper Cervantes, Nicole Mendrala and Taylor Ginn are the freshmen who made the cut for the highest level of dancers and they are already feeling the love.

“It’s really fun being a baby of the team,” Mendrala said. “We get to dance with the older girls who we look up to and experience high school.”

Having danced with each other for about 11 years, the girls know each other very well and are fitting in well with the rest of the Lancer Dancers, aside from the hazing that many freshmen have come to expect from high school.

“They seem to really enjoy picking on us,” Ginn said. “But we understand that it’s all out of love.”

The freshmen know that no matter what, their teammates will support them.

“It’s like one big happy family,” Mendrala said. “They’re like my sisters. I never thought I would make so many best friends so fast.”

With Nationals in Florida looming over the entire team’s head in the upcoming month, the freshmen are feeling a mix of emotions over their first time competing at such a high level.

“We are excited and scared for Nationals at the same time,” Cervantes said. “They tell us stories about all the fun they’ve had, but also about all the stressful times.”

The Lancer Dancers are two time reigning national hip-hop champions, and the freshman are looking to add to that reputation by helping the Lancer dancers win nationals for the third year in a row.

“Obviously there’s a lot of pressure,” DiPietro said. “Everyone is looking for the freshmen to be the ones to blow it or mess up.”

Though the pressure is overwhelming to a degree for the dancers, they are confident and ready to give it their best.

“Winning Nationals is probably our goal for the year,” Cervantes said. “We know we can do it, so we just have to make it happen.”

Nationals takes place Feb. 2-3, so be sure to wish both the Lancer Dancers and Xcalibur much luck before then.