Cheer and dance teams gain home through renovation

Photo by Kaylee P.
Senior Ty H. fills in the last letter of the Platinum Dancers' mural.

Maya P., Co-Editor

You see them at nearly every quarter, timeout, and halftime, but before the DCHS cheer and dance teams even step onto the playing field, there’s practicing to do. And now, with a space of their own, they can do just that.

The idea to convert the old wrestling room above the stage into a room used mainly for cheer and dance activities was first proposed by senior dancer and cheerleader Ty H. and senior cheer and dance manager Adriana C.

“We didn’t have a solid base to keep us together or give us a sense of being an actual team,” Adriana C. said. “We would have practices in hallways or outside, and, not only was it uncomfortable, but the interruptions made it hard for even us to take ourselves seriously and focus on improving.”

Near the end of the 2013-2014 school year, Ty H. and Adriana C. took it upon themselves to get the practice room approved by then Assistant Principal Cortney Couch. Once they received the initial okay, they got to work.

Recently, Ty. H and fellow dance member senior Tyra M. put their own personal touch to the room as a part of an art class. Murals and silhouettes of cheerleaders and dancers were painted on the walls to claim the room as their own.

“I felt like I accomplished something. It was good to be a part of a big change,” Ty H. said.

Now decorated to their liking, the room will provide a space to regroup after performances and games. Before, members were scattered and didn’t have a specific area to have a fresh critique after a game.

Posters are taped to the walls listing their goals, something that couldn’t have been done before. Also, property of the cheer and dance teams used to be kept in a closet in the classroom of cheer coach Tiffany Heins. The teams had no designated spot for practicing or storage.

While the cheer and dance teams still bend to the practice times of other sports, they no longer have to wait for players to clear the gym floor. In the past, there were multiple occasions that the teams had to split the space with another team or practice outside or in the commons area.

Over the summer, the room was emptied of equipment from various sports and given a complete makeover. The walls were cleaned and painted by custodial staff, and the leftover sports gear was put into newly built storage cages. This provides a more organized space for practices. Later on, the teams hope to line a wall with mirrors so members can see themselves as they practice.

“I hope it will make our squads feel like they mean something,” Heins said. “I don’t think people realize the amount of work these students do to do a great job.”