Sports teams at Bearden have experienced massive changes during their 2020-2021 seasons.
Both the cheer and dance teams started their seasons able to attend and perform at football games, but once basketball season started, their attendance was prohibited alongside students. More recently, regulations have decreased, allowing both teams to get back out on the sidelines.
These changes have caused a chaotic season for both the cheer and dance teams, but nevertheless, they persevered. The teams have used this opportunity for growth in order to perfect their routines for competitions.
“Being able to perform at basketball games prepares us for competitions because it gives us an audience and a similar adrenaline rush to our actual competition,” senior dancer Emma Manalac said. “The more we are able to perform, the more we are able to become familiar with this energy and put that towards our dance.”
This year both state and nationals will be virtual competitions for the dance team. The team will film their routines and submit the video for state on Wednesday; they’ll repeat the process in mid-April for nationals.
Though teams are grateful to be back performing, this transition has not been an easy one. With regulations still limiting the number of fans in the stands, these athletes are still adjusting to this transition.
“Having limited fans does affect our performance by affecting our energy and the space we fill,” junior dancer Olivia Roddy said. “The gym is a big space, and as dancers having less people to cheer for us can cause us to lose energy.”
Though fan attendance is still limited, a development in regulations has allowed a small number of students to attend each game. Though the attendance will still be a fraction of what it once was, the performers are appreciative for the increase of fans and student support.
“At first, it was a little weird to not have anyone there, but now that there are a few fans that can come it’s really going to make us go 10 times harder than before,” senior cheerleader Nadia Burris said.
While these past few months have come with many ups and downs, these teams have persisted in order to make the most of the 2020-2021 season.
“I’m really looking forward to cheering on the Dawgs for more victories, and [I’m looking forward] to being able to cheer in general,” junior cheerleader Hannah Matthews said.
Both basketball teams are preparing for the postseason to start this week, and both the cheer and dance teams will be able to perform at all Bearden home games.