First Ladies showcase holiday spirit

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First Ladies showcase holiday spirit

The First Ladies cheer the football team during a game. They travel to all games during the season. photo courtesy of First Ladies

The First Ladies cheer the football team during a game. They travel to all games during the season. photo courtesy of First Ladies

The First Ladies cheer the football team during a game. They travel to all games during the season. photo courtesy of First Ladies

The First Ladies cheer the football team during a game. They travel to all games during the season. photo courtesy of First Ladies

Zoe Klein, Staff Writer

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Lights flashed and camera shutters sounded as 20 girls dressed in ankle boots and cowgirl hats, gripping silvery pom-poms, marched onto the field. The crowd screamed in approval down onto the field, captivated by their choreography and skill.

The first ladies at every football game to cheer on the team, get the crowd excited and perform at halftime. The First Ladies have been recognized for their pep and valor, their shining smiles and hip shakes adding to the sense of community and excitement at games.

“The First Ladies are great,” sophomore Berkeley Adair. “They’re so good at dancing, and they make the games really fun.”

Freshman and LBJ First Lady Erin Earthman has grown accustomed to both the stresses and successes of the team. She has been dancing for three years, but this is her first on the team.

“I know it’s really cheesy, but I feel like dance allows me to express myself through movement. Mainly, though, it’s a really fun way of getting exercise,” she explained.

Time management is important for students in sports because they have less time outside of school to work on their homework. Earthman must start work on her homework almost immediately after she gets home because if she does not, she is not able to find time to finish it.

“Having no free time kind of sucks… As long as I manage my time well, I finish my homework and get enough sleep,” Earthman said “But that doesn’t always happen.”

She spends at least fifteen hours a week with her team, not just dancing and conditioning, but also bonding with other members.

“I have made a lot of friends through dance,” Earthman said. “I know a lot of upperclassmen who I would not have met in the first place, and it makes me feel like I belong more [at LASA].”

Earthman recognizes that dance takes up a large portion of her time, and that her life would probably be much less stressful without it, but it is worth it to her. Being able to get exercise and spend time with her friends s means a lot to her.

“[Even though] sometimes [dance] is a bit of an annoyance, I think it’s worth it- it’s a good way for me and my friends to hang out,” Earthman said.

As something almost trademarked as Texas culture, pieces of texas heritage is shown through collared dresses boasting leather fringe and tortoise-shell snap-buttons. But the first ladies don’t appreciate their state spirit.

“It’s not really fair, because [drill] teams who are not in Texas get to wear cool sequin dresses, and we’re stuck looking like cowboys,” Earthman said. “I’m not against our outfits, but, you know, it would be nice to have something different.”

Staying in shape, however, is not an easy feat for Earthman. The team engages in hours of conditioning every week, working on everything from squat lines to honing in on the finest of techniques.

“Before practice, we do conditioning, and dance is really cardio heavy,” Earthman said. I am always sore.”

The First Ladies learn a new dance nearly every week and prepare for not only football games, but also showcases, competitions and performances. On Dec. 4, the Austin ISD Dance Spectacular will feature dance programs from all over Austin, and Earthman is excited to see her friends from around the city and dance with them once again.

“I miss everyone from my old [dance performances], and I can’t wait to spend time with them, and talk about what they think of drill team,” Earthman said.