From Many, One: Xavier’s Dance Team

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Caelan Fraschetti

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The I.C.U. Project
May 15, 2019
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From Many, One: Xavier’s Dance Team

Photo courtesy of Cambria McCalla

Photo courtesy of Cambria McCalla

Photo courtesy of Cambria McCalla

Photo courtesy of Cambria McCalla

Since the inception of the Xavier dance team, they have shared their unique talents with our school and community. Countless hours of time and practice have been dedicated to their artistic craft which in turn carries us on an emotional journey with every performance. No two dances are alike, just as no two dancers are alike. Though they work together cohesively as a team, each dancer carries their own beginnings, passions, and drives.

Some students did not get into dancing until their Freshman year of high school. On the other hand, Senior Rebecca Phillips, one of the team captains, has been tap dancing since she was three. She then began to delve into other styles of dance her eighth-grade year. One of Rebecca’s favorite aspects of dance is that “there are so many different styles and options. You can always change it up and be creative.” Many dancers have styles or routines which they prefer above others. There are also dances that they most likely would not complain if they did not have to perform again. Yet, they continuously come together as a team to perform each dance to the best of their abilities.

The 2018-2019 school year is Freshman Sophie Bien’s first on the varsity dance team. As the only Freshman on Varsity, Sophie says it “really challenges me to work hard and always be on my ‘A’ game. My team is super supportive, and always encourages us to work our hardest.” While each new routine is far from a cakewalk, she finds support and motivation in her teammates. This not only creates a healthy environment for improvement through teamwork, but also sets a standard for how future Freshmen on the team should be treated. The upperclassmen make a conscious effort to include everyone, exemplifying the school’s motto of “men and women with and for others.” There is a lot of truth behind the saying “there is no I in team.”

This attitude is exemplified by Senior/team captain Adysen Burgen. When interviewing Adysen, the one word consistent throughout all of her answers was “team.” Her favorite dance routine is a hip-hop piece called SAINTS. Not only is this dance a yearly tradition, but it is also “a routine that requires a lot of team bonding.” She believes “the team is a big family, and we’re always there for one another because a team must rise together.”

Senior Carson McCalla has danced with the team throughout his high school career. As one of only three guys on the team, Carson notes that “the team building has been hardest for me…We don’t always get along but it all works out in the end.” He also finds himself driven by “both the desire for personal improvement, and a little bit of fear of letting the team down.” In a way, this is a lot like many families. No one ever gets along all the time, but his fear of letting the team down exhibits the close bond they share with each other.


A team that functions as a family not only works with each other but also relies upon one another. Everyone involved plays an important role in the team’s success, including the parents. While the parents often go unnoticed, they are the ones working hard behind the scenes. They are there to support their kids, working their schedules around practices, attending events, and volunteering their time to help the team. Sophomore Citlali Camacho notes that her dad has to work two jobs just to pay for her dance. This loving commitment demonstrates how far parents are willing to go, setting their needs to the side for the sake of their loved ones. In the same way, the dancers set aside their time. Sometimes they stay until 8:30 p.m. just for classes.

With them through it all is their coach, Penny Huffor. Her love for dance began when she was asked to substitute a Ballet class at Brigham Young University. Thirty-eight years later, she still loves teaching. When working with dancers, Huffor’s desire is to “help them believe in themselves, and that they can achieve their own personal best. All they need is to make a conscious choice of working hard and never giving up.” One does not have to be a natural to dance. They must simply have a passion and commitment to the art. While the Xavier dance team is usually the smallest at competitions, Huffor says “it is fierce and they shine.” To her, it is not the number of dancers she works with, but rather their ability to perform as passionate individuals that soar together as a team.

Works Cited:

Bien, Sophie. Personal interview. 11 Oct 2018.

Burgen, Adysen. Personal interview. 12 Oct 2018.

Camacho, Citlali. Personal interview. 08 Oct 2018.

Huffor, Penny. Personal interview. 09 Oct 2018.

McCalla, Carson. Personal interview. 11 Oct 2018.

Phillips, Rebecca. Personal interview. 08 Oct 2018.

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