A rewarding season

LN dance team competed at state in spite of the challenges that arose because of COVID-19

A+rewarding+season

Kimaya Naidoo, Staff member

Junior Demi Colbert and senior Ceniya Jones, along with the rest of the Fierce Felines, have had a successful season. The dance team has made it far this year despite COVID-19. Colbert and Jones placed second at state. Overall this season has been a huge breakthrough for the dance program.“It honestly means a lot because you never really see the Lawrence North dance team make it that far,” Colbert said.

Over the years they have made progress improving their skills. Jones has known dance teacher Chaevon Latham for a while, so she is very familiar with the program.

“I’ve known Ms. Latham since 2014. She’s really a great mentor,” Jones said

Latham has also seen the progress these girls have made over the years. They have not only grown in skill, but also in bonding and leadership skills. They are a very passionate team and they work very hard.

“I like being able to pass on the knowledge that I’ve learned over the years onto students who either have been dancing before or haven’t danced with me– students who haven’t taken a class, but have natural talent-to see them grow,” Latham said.

Getting to state this year was a huge accomplishment, and motivated the team to keep working hard. They have made it farther this year than last year, and their hard work is paying off.

“I’m not really like I have to win, but it feels good knowing that all our hard work has paid off ,” Jones said.

The team had a few troubles due to COVID-19 they strive to push themselves harder and overcome their struggles.

“It feels amazing getting to state, especially since we had to deal with COVID’s many restrictions and not getting to do as many competitions as we were used to,” Latham said.

Struggles with COVID-19 have caused the team to not be able to attend as many competitions as they usually do. They hope to perform more next year.

“We didn’t get to attend as many competitions as we do because COVID. Because of COVID, we have to perform everything back to back,” Latham said.

These girls continue to stay motivated even though they have so much going on. Dance is what they want to do. Jones lost a lot of motivation due to COVID-19, but dance has helped her.

“I lost motivation during COVID, so coming back to dance I was not as active,” Jones said.

It has also helped Colbert with her motivation. She struggled a lot too.

“My team has helped me with my motivation. They motivate me to get good grades, so I can stay in dance and get better,” Colbert said.

Latham does her best to motivate her students. She encourages them to work hard, set goals, and do their best. She wants them to pursue their dreams in dance. She wants them to overcome their goals.

“My biggest accomplishment is probably kids who want to go on to dance professionally. I’ve tried to encourage them to pursue dance,” Latham said.

Now at competitions students have to wear a mask and their ti me is shortened. Latham realizes this and they use their time wisely.

“At minimum we will practice 3 ti mes a week. If it’s a game we will practice everyday. From day one I set my expectations so the kids know what I expect from them and what they can expect from me,”Latham said.

The girls feel like this made them more accountable and helped to bond them as a team. It makes them understand how important they are.

“We’re more bonded [and] we trust each other. I feel like being a part of a team is all about trust,” Jones said.

For team captain Jones it helped with her leadership skills. She understands everyone on a deeper level now.

“I’m the captain, so that gave me leadership skills and overall what it felt like to be a part of a team something bigger than myself,” Jones said.

For dance categories, Hip Hop placed 7th and Jazz placed 9th. Colbert says she has learned to be more flexible, but not in the literal sense. Jones has also learned to be more lenient when it comes to dancing.

“I improved how versatile I am with dance. Now I do jazz and hip hop, but I used to just do majorette” Colbert said.

Latham is very proud of the girls development and she has a lot to say about them.

“Each year I try to make the program grow in talent by getting everyone together by looking at all the great things we have done. Let’s keep that going. It helps boost people’s confidence. I’m always excited to help them be better looking
at them become sophomores, juniors, [and] seniors,”Latham said.

Colbert is very proud of herself and happy to be a part of something bigger than herself. She is still learning, and she’s very excited to learn more.

“It feels great to win competitions knowing that our hard work has paid off . Even if we don’t win, we always know we did our best,” Colbert said.