Keep Your Fingers Crossed!


Grace Dunn, Staff Writer

I have been dancing since I was six years old. It quickly changed from an after school hobby to a full-time, competitive sport. At my dance studios’ national talent competition this past year, we were on stage waiting for the awards to be announced. When the announcer said that my team’s tap number had won we all jumped up, ran to center stage, and accepted our first place trophy!

Grace Dunn at Saturday dance practice.

Some people at Out-of-Door participate in dance outside of school. Dance classes can either be recreational or competitive depending on the amount of time the student has available, money they’re willing to spend, and ultimately their passion for the art.

I am involved in competitive dance. Usually, people don’t really understand what that means. That basically means I am on a team that works with an instructor to perfect dance routines, and take those routines to competitions around Florida. Some dance studios in the area are The Movement Dance Company, Soul Studios, Jump Dance Company, and Powerhouse. I take classes at The Movement Dance Company.  

I dance four nights a week from 6:30-9:30 p.m. This rigorous schedule could be equally compared to other sports teams practice hours. Although some people don’t look at dance and  consider it a sport, the physical toll it takes on dancers proves them wrong.

Elise Raimon at dance competition

“I’ve been a competitive dancer for six years, and from that time I’ve learned what it means to be a part of a team and to work hard no matter the situation.” says sophomore Elise Raimon.

“Dance takes a lot of time and dedication. I dance six days a week, with a five hour practice on Saturday.” says sophomore Gracie Schlotthauer.


The dance club, run by Dr. Ellen Zitani, is the only opportunity for dance training at ODA. Dance club takes place after school.

Most high schools have a dance team that accompanies the cheerleading squad. However, ODA only has a cheer squad.

Gracie Schlotthauer kicking back

“I think cheer is a great alternative to dance! You learn a good sense of rhythm and an efficiency of learning choreography.” says junior Brianna Carney.

Many think ODA should go further than a cheer squad. Those who love the traditions of dance, believe that a dance team at Out-of-Door would boost other arts at our school. For instance, the dancing in the musical, dancing on the cheer squad, and even rhythm and tempo in music classes.

School dance teams generally perform at football and basketball games. Also, some teams have their own recitals. For example, the Lakewood Ranch Silver Stars have an annual show that exemplifies the team’s progress throughout the year.

“A great memory from my dance team was just performing and feeling the rush of excitement with everyone as we worked together to create an amazing dance.” says junior Brianna Carney.

Think dance might be for you?

A dance team may be on its way.

Out-of-Door will be hiring a new theater director for next year. This new addition will be taking the responsibilities that Ms. Evans usually has involving the the theater. The hope is that this person will also be teaching acting and dance classes during the school day. Hopefully, students will be able to grow and thrive as dancers inside of school.