Dancing the night away

Farmerette showcase to allow public to see this year’s competition choreography


Valerie Benzinger

The Farmerettes practice their competition routines during third period on Monday, Feb. 4.

The Farmerettes will be hosting a showcase on Thursday, Feb. 7 in the Arena at 7 p.m. to perform this year’s competition routines for friends and family. The team hosts a showcase every year so the public can have a chance to see aspects of what the Farmerettes do other than performing halftime routines at football and basketball games.

“A lot of our competitions are far away, so it gives everyone an opportunity to see what we do outside of football season,” senior lieutenant Saleema Bah said.

The Farmerettes also benefit from showing off their dances to the public. They will be able to become accustomed to performing their competition numbers in front of an audience. Additionally, the dancers also gain the experience of transitioning between routines quickly.

“Showcase is usually the first time [the dancers have] done all the dances in costume, with music, in front of an audience,” head director Kimberly Sheeran said. “They change how they perform when they’re in front of an audience and that’s a really big deal. Having that day with a dress rehearsal that’s open to the public gives them an idea of what contests will feel like because [at contests], there’s going to be an audience and judges. It’s a necessary thing.”

The showcase works like a practice run for the start of their competition season. The first competition will be on Saturday, Feb. 9 at McKinney Boyd High School from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The team treats showoffs like a real competition. On the day of the competition, they feel ready to take on the challenge because running through showoffs helps them prepare.

“We try to run showcase as similar to competition as we can,” junior social officer Leah Gervais said. “If our coach knows the order we’re going to be competing in, she’ll try to do the same [order] for showoffs. The only difference is the time in between our dances because [at a competition], there will be other teams competing between [each dance].”

The beginning of competition season brings a new set of fears and excitements for the dancers. They have had to adapt to a more rigorous practice schedule, as well as enduring long days at distant places for the actual competitions.

“I’m excited for the day of competition because it’s filled with so many emotions,” Gervais said. “We’re all pumped up on the bus ride there [and] we’re nervous getting ready and it’s just a fun day.”

To combat the fears resulting from competitions, the Farmerettes work on team bonding and encouragement throughout the year. The officers, social officers and coaches collaborate to create a positive atmosphere to help generate success on the dance floor.

“We’ve been working on our team culture this year and really working on inclusivity and positivity,” Sheeran said. “Every time I say ‘try again’ and we reset to the previous formation to try that part again, we clap and applaud each other [as we’re] going there. Something as simple as that, even if they don’t realize it, makes a more positive atmosphere. So, we try to circumvent those negative ideas or those ideas that give us nervous feelings by starting very early with [the mindset of] ‘We are a team, we can do this no matter what the outcome is.’”

Preparing for this performance helps reassure the team they are ready to compete the numbers. They make sure every aspect of the routines is perfected to ensure success.

“When we prepare for showoffs, we need to have all of our costume pieces and our cleaning memorized,” Gervais said. “Having showoffs prepares us for competition because we can know we’re ready for [the competition].”

With this season being Sheeran’s first year as head director, she wants to find out what does and doesn’t work for the team. Sheeran has worked to establish team unity and she hopes it will help the Farmerettes succeed at competitions.

“I’m excited going into competition season because it’s my first year as head director,” Sheeran said. “I’m just excited to see how the Farmerettes and Diamonds do. I don’t know if we’re doing anything largely different. I think we’re taking a different approach to team culture this year, and that’s made a huge difference in how we are looking at our contest days.”