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Dancing with the all stars


Two varsity athletes test their athleticism in new realms

The dance room, filled with mirrors, had two new faces in it. The two athletes stood in new surroundings awaiting the challenge of the dance they were about to learn. The nervous energy was overwhelming. Following a few technical difficulties their choreographer showed them the dance. The athlete’s stared at her wondering what they had gotten themselves into. Ready for the challenge, they began following the steps and learning the dance. After many trials the dance still seemed difficult to grasp and in a short performance there was still a lot of work to be done. The two athletes left the room preparing themselves for the long week of practice ahead of them to be audition ready by Jan. 29.

Morgan Harrington

Varsity water polo player, Morgan Harrington,11, and varsity football player, Jerahmy Kelley, 11, were given a unique challenge regarding an athletic skill that was unknown to them. Given 30 minutes with advanced dance choreographer, Senior Devin Hartley, the athletes were introduced to a 30 second hip-hop number that they had to learn.

After first learning the dance on Jan. 22 they had seven days until the mock Advanced Dance tryout on Jan. 29. Within the week, they were able to practice at home with a recording of Hartley performing the dance. Kelley practiced about an hour and a half at home while Harrington practiced about half an hour and taught her water polo teammates over the weekend.

Their objective was to prove if athletes could carry their skill over into other athletic realms, and to see if they would make the cut trying out for the advanced dance class. Dancing tested their ability to be coached, practice, and then perform in front of people. Being varsity water polo and football players this is what they do on a week to week basis with the performance being game day.

The bar was set very high as Hartley seamlessly made the difficult dance look easy. Both athletes we surprised by the challenge and nervous for the final product.

“It’s really hard to stay on beat and the ending of the dance is difficult,” Harrington said.

With their weeks being filled with school, practice, and other extracurriculars finding time to practice was difficult.

Jerahmy Kelley

Kelly had past dance experience with a few lessons at PRYAF.

“[This has been] somewhat challenging but not really,” Kelley said.

During lunch on Jan. 29 the two athletes gathered in the dance room ready to perform. After one practice run through they were ready to be judged. Harrington was nervous so Kelley offered to go first. Watching them, ready to judge was Cara Macomber, beginning dance teacher, and Kimberly Mercado, an advanced dance student.

The music started and Kelley began his dance. He remembered all his choreography and added a backflip to the middle of the dance.

The judges were impressed by the execution of the dance.

“Based on energy, enthusiasm, and willingness to get out there and do it, yes [he would make advanced dance],” Macomber said.

“He had no shame. He kept up with the choreography and the backflip was a nice touch. He also was into the music. He was not afraid,” Mercado said.

Next up was Harrington. She remembered her dance as well and added the splits to the dance.

“I thought Morgan nailed the choreography. She was a little scared so her body was dancing but her face had a scarred look on it,” Macomber said.

“She did amazing with the choreography, she kept it on time, she did it to the beat, so she did great. She has potential,” Mercado said.

The judges said their final comments about whether or not the athletes pulled it off. Did they make it into advanced dance?

“They both have the potential to be accepted into advanced dance. I think they would learn a lot in intermediate dance. They’d be super stars in intermediate dance,” Macomber explained

“For advanced dance just show a little bit more facials and you guys got it,” Mercado advised.

Kelley and Harrington were able to prove their abilities in realms outside of football and water polo. They learned the dance and performed it. They completed the challenge.

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