Working Overtime: Dance Team Practices

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Working Overtime: Dance Team Practices

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Dominion’s Dance Team is easily one of the most accomplished teams at Dominion. The team has won dozens of competitions from their creation in 2013. In order to reach these levels of this success, they have to practice a lot. But how much practice is considered too much?

The team practices all school year, they take a break over the summer and have a week long camp. They practice five times a week with practices before and after school. The team has morning practices every Tuesday and Friday starting at 6:30 and ending at 8:30. After school practices occur every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30. The Dance Team spends two hours a day practicing their routine for a total of ten hours a week. The members are also expected to practice in their free time on top of it all. When it gets closer to competition, the team practices on Saturday as well.

While the team has an immensely rigorous schedule, when sophomore Monique Guilbault was asked if she thought that the team practiced too much, she said, “Not at all, everyone on dance is there because they genuinely have a passion for dance, energy is always up for practice because we all want to be there.”

While the Dance Team practices a lot and works very hard on perfecting their routines, it pays off with the enormous amount of success the team has had in the last couple years. Two years ago, the team came in second at the National Dance Alliance in Orlando, Florida and last year they scored nearly a perfect score at a local competition. They received a near perfect score of 399 out of 400. They also performed very well at the Sweetheart Invitational and at the Universal Dance Association Tournament. So far this year, they have only competed in the Dance Team Union competition in which they placed second.

While other athletic teams have restrictions by VHSL when it comes to how long and how much they can practice, these regulations do not affect Dance Team. “Dance Team is not a recognized VHSL activity, therefore any rules regarding practice time must come from the school,” said Tom Dolan, who is an associate director at the Virginia High School League.

“The Dance Team doesn’t have rules regarding practice time because we are technically a school club not an athletic sports team.” said Dance Team head coach and teacher at Dominion, Josh Alexander, when asked about the rules for the Dance Teams practice schedule.

When asked how much practice time does he think is too much, Mr. Alexander said, “It varies depending how much the team has to get done, but the longest practice that we’ve had is five hours with multiple breaks.”

The Dance Team is a technically a club, thus excluding them from rules regarding practice times. This essentially means that they can practice as much as they want without oversight from the administration.

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