Performance teams look back on better times

'Not all goodbyes are like we want them to be'

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by Ari Webb, staff

In-sync hip hop choreography, carefully tossed flags and intricate drill routines. Combining both grace and talent, Shorewood’s performance teams bring energy to events and competitions. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, competition season for the hip-hop, drill and flags teams was cut short.

All three performance teams were having good seasons pre-COVID. “We competed in three competitions, and we weren’t able to go to districts or state although we had qualified for both,” said hip-hop captain Anna Chang. 

The drill and flags teams were also experiencing very successful seasons. “We placed at almost every [competition]. And we were scoring really high,” said drill captain Genevieve Trimbell. “Our competition seasons the past two years were nothing compared to this,” said Abigail Ramos, flags captain.

As the season was cut short, none of the performance teams were able to go to districts or state. For hip-hop, not being able to compete meant losing precious team bonding opportunities. “I remember we just got closer after state. It was a really good bonding experience for everyone. As years went on we could show underclassmen how special it is. Its about making memories,” Tia Tran, hip-hop captain, said. 

The flags team was excited for the opportunity to compete at a higher level. “The flag team has gone to state in the past, but not for a long time,” said Olivia Beard, flags captain. 

The drill team, which consistently goes to state, was disheartened to have their expectations of competing at state dashed. “The past couple of years I’ve definitely taken it for granted because I thought ‘I’ll have my senior year to really appreciate it’,” said drill co-captain Nicole Coward.

Though they didn’t have the final opportunities to compete, hip-hop, flags and drill captains were all thankful for the experiences they spent on their teams.

The drill captains saw drill as an opportunity to learn, grow and meet new people. “I don’t know if I would have the same friends that I have right now if I wasn’t on drill. It’s really nice having that support system of people and knowing they are all there for you,” said drill co-captain Faith Thorne. “I’ve seen girls come in and they grow both in terms of their dance but also as a human being. Also I’ve seen girls who were super shy and now they are super talkative,” added Trimbell.

The flags captains used the past few years to build the Shorewood flags program. “A couple of years ago, people talked about how flags was a joke. Like I remember before we tried out seeing people drop their flags at performances and we thought it was a joke. We tried out, and we put in a lot of effort to make it into a performance team,” said Beard. 

Not all goodbyes are like we want them to be, and this is definitely one of those times where this is not what we wanted it to be. It’s really hard for us. But I know I’ll see them again. I know I’ll see my team again.”

— Wesley Joo, senior

Although this season has been very disappointing, hip-hop captain Wesley Joo reminds other performance team participants that COVID doesn’t have to be their last goodbye. “Every senior has an ideal way things can play out. They’ll see themselves hanging out with their friends for the last time and having this last hurrah. Not all goodbyes are like we want them to be, and this is definitely one of those times where this is not what we wanted it to be. It’s really hard for us. But I know I’ll see them again. I know I’ll see my team again.”