For the majority of students, April and May brings sunshine, AP tests and the beginning of the official summer countdown. For some, however, these months exist for one reason: tryouts.
“The dance audition process is very intense,” sophomore and member of the Lancer Dancers Nicole Mendrala said. “You have a very short amount of time to pick up new choreography and show your technique.”
The Lancer Dancer and Xcalibur dance teams have a long and prestigious history, consistently ranking and winning at the national level. The grueling audition process reflects this high standard held for the teams. Tryouts took place April 30 ad May 2 and are not something that should be taken lightly.
“On the first day of tryouts, you must do a skills test and learn the choreography for the audition dance,” junior and member of Xcalibur Catherine Lee said. “The second day, you perform the dance for judges who score you on things such as performance, technique and how well you know the dance.”
Although a nerve-wrecking week for many of the participants, tryouts does have its benefits.
“The best part of auditions is knowing everyone is in the same position as you,” Mendrala said. “Everyone is always super nice, and you get to make a lot of new friendships. It is comforting to know you aren’t the only one going through it.”
Similar to dance tryouts, cheer tryouts are twice as long but equally as grueling.
“Cheer tryouts are stressful due to the time constraint, learning and performing the cheer and dance in front of judges,” junior and member of the varsity cheer team Briette Pietrocini said. “It makes it so much better, however, when you are with so many fun people. Everyone bonds together when you are all practicing together and waiting nervously to perform.”
Cheer tryouts are a multi-day event including choreography, interviews and judges. Each day has a purpose all leading up to the final audition and the announcing of the results.
“On Monday, you learn a dance and a cheer, and on Tuesday, you practice and perfect them for the audition,” Pietrocini said. “Wednesday, you have interviews from three CHS teachers, and Thursday is a free day to practice on your own. Friday is the audition day, when you perform the cheer and dance for judges from the Universal Cheerleaders Association.”
There is no doubt that the audition processes are difficult for the cheer and dance teams but that doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoyable. Not only are new friends made, but participants are rewarded with the feeling of accomplishment.
“Everyone should try out,” Lee said. “It is a really great experience, and you learn a lot about dance and life throughout the process.”