Gettin’ Their Groove On

The Dance Team is making a comeback with the help of Theater Director Mrs. Jordan Fox and some ambitious students


Julia Hurley

Members of the Cathedral Dance Team, led by Mrs. Jordan Fox, rehearse in the theater greenroom after school. The Dance Team performs at basketball games and school assemblies throughout the school year.

Since the beginning of the return to normalcy following the Covid pandemic, school clubs and teams have experienced a survival of the fittest situation in which some have rebounded and some have not. One extracurricular that has recently been revived is the dance team. From the Black History Month Assembly to sporting events, the school has been wowed by this talented team. The revival of the team would not have been possible without the ambition of students and teachers alike.

Senior and co-captain of the team Blaire Jones remembers the dance team that was active during her freshman year. However, she said, “After Covid, (the dance team) didn’t really come up again, and I didn’t think much about it.” But fellow co-captain and Junior Taria Holifield wanted to restart the team this school year, and Jones did as well. Motivated by her passion for dance and desire to create a strong community, Holifield, Jones and co-captain Sophomore Ashlyn Jemison submitted a club proposal to Student Innovation Team member Mr. Anthony Ernst. “I thought (creating a club) would be harder than I expected,” Holifield continued, “I emailed Mr. Ernst with my idea, he sent me everything that I needed to do, (and) I needed to come up with a mission statement.” Initially, Holifield ran into one roadblock: finding a moderator. Luckily, the team was, as Holifield said, “blessed” to have Theater Director Mrs. Jordan Fox who assumed the role of coach, moderator and choreographer. 

“Dance has always been my passion,” Fox said. With Fox’s passion for dance and the desire to restart the team, it was the perfect combination to bring the captains’ idea to fruition. 

Fox, Jones and Holifield bring their years of performing arts and dancing experience to the team. “I always grew up doing something physical with dance or cheer, (and) I did ballet,” Jones said. Additionally, Holifield said, “I’ve been in theater and dancing, really all the performing arts since I was a kid, but dancing really spoke louder to me than singing (and) acting.” 

Their past experience is especially helpful when choreographing dances and rehearsing for performances, and Fox explained that she and the three captains collaborate to formulate what is best for the team. “If it’s a dance I created, I teach it and we tailor it to (the team’s) abilities. If (a dance) was captain-created, they would create it out of the space and then come in and teach it,” Fox said. The team finds choreographing inspiration from their previous dance performances, trending dances and social media platforms like Tiktok. Ultimately, Jones said, “We just feel the music, dance and make sure it looks right and that (everyone) can perform the dance and technique.”

While rehearsing and dancing in general may sound like an awesome idea for many students, performing for large audiences may seem daunting for others. However, Fox assures, “Once you get out there, and you feel that buzz and excitement from your peers and staff, that fear melts away pretty quickly.” Jones completely agrees with this testament; she explained that prior to performances, she goes through many feelings. She said, “This is my process: (I) start super nervous, my heart is beating fast, and when (I) start, (I’m) still nervous. Then, when you progress throughout (the performance), you just start going all out (because) everybody’s hyping you up and cheering.” 

Also, the positive feedback from students and staff has greatly encouraged the team. Many people can’t get enough of the dancing. Holifield said, “Every time we get done performing, there’s always somebody coming up to me (saying), ‘I love watching dance (performances)—you guys need to do more.’ With so many people behind us, I’m just so happy for us all.”  Performing may be stressful, but with a supportive audience and a team full of energized dancers behind your back, that stress quickly dissipates into excitement and fun. 

However, as Jones explained, the team is not just a team but also a family. “We just all feel comfortable among each other, (and) we have a family type bond,” she said. Whether someone is a lifelong dancer or simply has some groove (or not), Fox strongly encourages joining the team which is open to everyone. Additionally, there will be workshops in April for future team members. While Jones will graduate in May, Holifield and Fox look forward to growing the team and being a source of inspiration for years to come. Also, Fox said, “If anyone is interested (in joining), they can absolutely come sit in on a rehearsal without committing to joining the team.”

Speaking to anyone who may be nervous to perform, Holifield reminded, “If you have the courage and confidence to do something that somebody else didn’t have the courage and confidence to do, don’t let what they say matter to you—you have the light to shine that they didn’t.”