Dancing through senior year


Mitchell Scaglione

Senior Delena Cruz performs during the homecoming halftime show. The Lancer Dancers danced to a mix of song from across the decades.

Briget Boka

The Lancer Dancer team at CHS consists of dancers from all grade levels. This year, however, senior Delena Cruz is the only senior on the team. With many years of dancing under her belt, Cruz is now feeling the long term effects dance can have on the body after years of dancing.

Being the oldest now on the team, Cruz is responsible for the younger members; she makes sure to keep her eyes on them and their progress.

“I have a lot more responsibility in leading the team and being involved this year,” senior Cruz said. “The coach expects me to know everything and set a good example for the younger girls on the team.”

Being the oldest dancer with the most experience has increased the pressure on Cruz. The dance team spends many hours together, practicing almost everyday. Cruz feels a like an outsider when there’s down time at practice, due to being the lone senior.

“Having the majority of the team being young, it’s hard to relate to what they’re talking about and having conversations with them is a little different because they haven’t gone through what I have when it comes to high school and dancing,” Cruz said. “It kind of sucks not being able to walk into practice and talk about a test I just took or something since we all aren’t in the same grade.”

The memories made on the Lancer Dancer team make up the majority of Cruz’s high school experience. With the 2016-2017 school year being her last at Carlsbad, she has made sure to put hard work and dedication into the dance routines, and brings her full effort to each practice.

“My favorite memory would probably have to be winning worlds last year for hip hop. Worlds is where a bunch of different high schools come from all around the world and we all compete against each other,” Cruz said. “We all got rewarded for all the hard work we put into the routines and it was the best feeling in the world.”

Cruz has been dancing since she was four years old, and with the many years she has been dancing, her body has taken a lot of stress. Taking care of herself and repairing her muscles is Cruz’s top priority at the moment.

“After all these years of doing dance with all of the tricks and being the base of a lot of lifts, it kind of wore out my muscles,” Cruz said. “I have two disc bulges in my neck and I’ve been going to physical therapy twice a week, a chiropractor three times a week and acupuncture twice a week also.”

Cruz has seen improvements in her body’s state as a result of her efforts to keep it healthy. Cruz stays hopeful for the future and continues to be cautious when dancing. Despite the differences they have, the team still contributes to Cruz’s senior memories and they wish her the best for her future.

“Everyone is really caring and they make my last year at CHS one to remember,” Cruz said. “I’ll always remember my years being a Lancer Dancer and I’ve made memories I’ll have my whole life.”