Drill Teams Debut Dazzeling Dances

Belles and Rubies showcases contest routines for the community


Photo by Hannah Espinoza

Rylee Camp smiles during her final performance of the night at the Belles and Rubies contest showoffs. The Belles performed a novelty routine based on The Lorax this year, where Camp played Granny Norma. “My favorite part about showoffs is getting all of the reactions for our novelties because it’s the first time anyone has seen it,” Camp said, “and they’re always a bunch of gasps and ‘oh my gosh, that’s so funny,’ and that’s just cool to see.”

After months of preparation and practice, the Belles and Rubies performed nearly all of their competition routines for the public during their contest showoffs on Feb. 9. The teams’ competition showcase consisted of over 20 routines, all of which will be displayed at their upcoming competitions. Showoffs act as a way for the teams to practice their dances in front of an audience before the contest, as described by Rylee Camp (12). “Contest showoffs, well, for us, is a practice run of our contest dances and an opportunity to show them to our friends and family in a smaller environment for free,” Camp said. “It’s also a way to get all our nerves out and all of the problem areas fixed.” While most students know the Belles and Rubies for their halftime performances during football games, the teams spend countless hours practicing routines for their dance competitions after Friday Night Lights come to a close. Natalie Schwind (10) believes contest showoffs give the community a chance to encourage them. “Showoffs is a way for our team to show the dances that we work hard on at our practices every day,” Schwind said, “and we eventually go and take these to compete at other places, so it’s a way for the community to come watch and support us.” A typical competition day for drill teams can last well over 12 hours, meaning that routines are spread out with long breaks in between. During showoffs, however, the groups perform quick costume changes and all of their dances back-to-back. Camp thinks the upped intensity of showoffs makes actual competition days much smoother. “I think showoffs are a good preparation for contest because it’s harder than an actual contest,” Camp said. “Your’e preparing your brain mentally for contest being as hard as showoffs, but it’s really not because you have more time to prepare, and you feel more at ease because you got the practice run at showoffs.” Among the routines performed at the showcase, styles such as jazz, contemporary, pom and more were displayed, highlighting the different talents of the teams and soloists. High-energy routines are Haley Hamilton’s (10) personal favorite. “My favorite routine is either council hip-hop or team pom because they’re so fun and energetic,” Hamilton said. The Belles also have unique subgroups that compete separately from their team. One is the Elite Belles, who performed jazz, hip-hop and contemporary dances at showoffs this year. “Elite is basically a more difficult version of the team dances,” Hamilton said, “and you have to try out for it. It’s just more extreme, and there’s a lot more tricks and complexity.” Another group that performed at showoffs was the Belles officers. In addition to their leadership roles, this group performs three routines in the officer category, two of which were displayed for the community. Similarly to Elite, these routines tend to be more difficult than team routines. “Being an officer definitely does make showoffs harder because you never have a time to breathe,” Camp said. “You’re just going and going and going, but honestly, I like the quick pace.” The most significant part of contest showoffs that brings community members in is the teams’ final production at the end of the showcase: the novelty routines. Belles and Rubies performed a novelty this year, and Camp believes this style is the most iconic for the teams. “Our novelty this year is The Lorax, and it’s so epic,” Camp said. “My favorite part about showoffs is getting all of the reactions for our novelties because it’s the first time anyone has seen it, and they’re always a bunch of gasps and ‘oh my gosh, that’s so funny,’ and that’s just cool to see.” Although many routines were performed at contest showoffs, some were not displayed, such as the Belles team jazz, military and officer jazz. However, these dances will be competed during their upcoming competitions on March 4 and March 24-25 with a previous competition that has taken place on Feb. 18. Schwind is excited to be with her team at the approaching contests. “I love the moments right before the dance when you’re with your team getting hype,” Schwind said, “and you have to make sure you keep a positive attitude even if something goes wrong. You just got to keep going and make it fun.”