LASA Forms New Velocity Dance Team

Edith Holmsten, Staff Writer

Since its foundation in 2007, LASA has had a combined dance team with LBJ called the First Ladies. With LASA moving campuses for the 2021-22 school year, LASA is forming a new dance team called the Velocity Dance Team.

The team held informational sessions on Feb. 25 and March 10 to recruit new members to the team and to provide information about the tryout process. The application deadline for the team was March 8, and dancers tried out for the team on March 25. 

LASA dance teacher and Velocity coach Paige Edwards is confident that the team will be able to recruit dancers for the 2021-22 school year. Edwards said she has 17 applications for the team so far, which she was glad to see.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see that number,” Edwards said. “That’s the amount we actually have on the team this year.”

Along with recruiting potential team members, Edwards is also picking out new uniform designs for the team. Edwards worked with advanced graphic design teacher Jill Giulietti to create the logo and a uniform company to choose the uniform’s colors.

“I’ve been working with a uniform company to come up with the new designs for the field uniform, and the chosen one that was really, really wonderful has a very clean, polished look with a lot of colors in it and sparkles to it as well,” Edwards said.

Sophomore First Ladies member Carter Matheny said that she was excited to start new choreography traditions for the Velocity Dance Team. Matheny is inspired by how Bowie High School has a line dance that they have been doing for years and hopes to be able to create a similar long-lasting tradition for the Velocity Dance Team. 

“They have a dance that they’ve been doing since the start of [the team] that they do every single year,” Matheny said, “and one of my friends was looking at it, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, imagine being the people who made up that dance and realizing that girls are still practicing it and doing it,’ and it’s something that just brings the community together.”

Matheny said that she is also excited about how the new name of the team might facilitate more inclusion. The Velocity Dance Team is not connected to a specific gender like the First Ladies team name, so Matheny said she hopes the name will help more students feel welcome.

“Since it’s a gender-neutral name, we can have some guys come in, just anybody welcomed to join, and dance with us because the whole reason why we have a dance team is to dance and to enjoy dancing and to have a fun experience,” Matheny said.

Sydney Yium, a junior and a current Junior Lieutenant on the First Ladies, said that she was also looking forward to being one of the trailblazers for the new team. However, Yium also said that she would miss her time with LBJ students through the merged team of First Ladies.

“I’ll miss having the opportunity to learn more about the LBJ community and have experiences outside of LASA with other schools,” Yium said. “I think that’s a really important learning experience, and I think it’ll be hard to go without that. I love my friends from LBJ on the team with my whole heart, and I’ll definitely miss them.”

In addition to missing her teammates from LBJ, Yium will miss the traditions that come with being a part of the First Ladies. When LASA moves campuses for the 2021-22 school year, the Velocity Dance Team will be unable to keep specific traditions that are rooted in the LBJ building.

“We do small things, like in the locker room, in our dance room, there’s handprints on the wall from all the seniors who have graduated, and obviously, we can’t take that with us because we’re moving campuses,” Yium said. “Big things like events are definitely going to change, and smaller things like handprints and friendships are going to change too.”

Both Yium and Matheny said the split of the First Ladies and formation of LASA’s Velocity Dance Team provide both opportunities and challenges. However, overall, Edwards is looking forward to the ability to start a new team.

“That’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Edwards said, “so I am so thankful to be able to lay the foundation for the school and see it progress for many, many years.”