Dancers leap into next school year


Reporter Christine Hegarty

April 16, 2012 started the week of Bellevue West’s 2012-2013 Thunderette dance team tryouts. 16 girls made the team at the end of the week, some returning, and some new.

For freshman Lea Gillespie, it was her first year for trying out and she made the team.

“I was extremely nervous for tryouts, but my friends and family never stopped encouraging me,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie has been dancing for six years now and next year will be her first year on the Thunderette team.

Dancers trying out for the team had to attend each Thunderette Clinic in order to be eligible to tryout on Friday April 20th.

For Gillespie, she had to manage her time and work with her coach so she could attend each clinic.

“During the week of tryouts, I had to leave early from my tennis practices and matches,” Gillespie said. “My [tennis] coach Bartlett was very understanding and encouraging, though.”

Junior Taylyn Fischer also had to make time for tryouts.

“I had to talk to my boss and move some of my hours around, but it wasn’t that big of a deal,” Fischer said.

According to Gillespie, tryouts were fun and sometimes nerve racking.

“Even though was intimidating to see the veterans from the team trying out, they were all so nice and excited to meet the new girls and help us with anything we needed,” Gillespie said. “Overall, I was very excited to be trying out. When  I  was performing for the judges, I was so pumped and knew even if I didn’t make it, the experience would last a lifetime.”

Fischer has been on the team since her freshman year, so she knew what tryouts were like.

“Monday through Thursday, we learned  a dance and some other routine things such as jumps and cheers. We also had to choreograph a little bit on our own. We then performed everything we learned on our tryout day which was Friday,” Fischer said. “Throughout tryouts, I really enjoyed helping the new  girls out.”

For Gillespie, her life revolves around dancing.

“In my life, dancing is the I way I express myself. If I didn’t dance, I don’t know how I could manage. After giving my all in performance, I get an overwhelming feeling  that I can accomplish anything and that’s what excites me. I  absolutely cannot wait to represent and dance for my school as a Thunderette next year,” Gillespie said.

Fischer is also excited for next year for the Thunderettes.

“I am so ready for next year, I think we have a really good team.  I can’t wait to perform and show everyone our talents next season,” Fischer said.

Both Fischer and Gillespie are on Varsity cheer and will be cheering in the fall and dancing in the winter.