Portettes kick away two more successful seasons

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Juniors Annie Connors, Zoe Mankes, a nd Danielle Stalnaker stand together, preparing to kick as part of the Portettes routine at a boys varsity basketball game.

Adam Keltz, Staff Writer

Meet the Schreiber Portettes.   Originally created as a recreational club, the Schreiber Portettes now stand as a 24 person squad who are classified as a varsity team.

Many people underestimate the role of a Portette when, in fact, it is a very extensive job.   Each year the process for joining begins in late June when students gather for a two day tryout (one day dedicated to learning  the routines and the second day for an evaluative performance).  The prospective Portette turnout is usually made up of interested incoming freshman and a selection of soon to be sophomores, juniors, and seniors who, for the most part, have already been on the team.  However, aside from the elected captains, all previous Portettes must re-try-out for a spot each year.

“Even though I have been on Portettes for three years, the thought of trying out again is always a nerve wracking and exciting experience,” said junior Rachel Stern.

Towards the end of the summer, the selected Portettes come together in late August to perfect their football routine and march routine which they debut during the annual Pride in Port weekend.  The practice and training persists throughout the football season and into winter as the squad transitions from a football to basketball routine, and later put a close to their talents at the Memorial Day Parade.

“By the end of the year, our team has spent so much time together that it no longer feels like we are four different grades, but instead one unified team,” said sophomore Jesse Moskowitz.

This year, the Portettes have four senior captains: Natalie Martinek, Penina Remler, Liana Saidai, and Emily Shlafmitz (four seniors who have been on the team since their freshman year).  Together, the captains are responsible of choreographing two original dances which they perform during Schreiber’s Pep Rally, varsity Football, and varsity Basketball games.

Throughout the fall, one could find the Portettes perfecting their skills on the turf as they kicked to the crowd pleaser, “Scream and Shout” by Brittany Spears and Will.i.am.  Frequently, the Portette’s football season consists of a strict kickline routine which aims to emulate the  Rockettes.  Though as the football season came to an end, the squad took their talents indoors and are currently performing a great half time show during varsity basketball half-times.

“During Basketball season,  the squad is very influenced by the Knick City Dancers who put on a similar half time show,” said Saidai.

This two minute and thirty second performance is performed to a home-made music mash-up which the captains developed on their own time.

“Our squad is extremely hard working, disciplined and devoted to dance both in and out of school. The Portettes dedication is evident within every performance,” said head coach Ms. Robin Cooper.

Additionally, in recent years the Portettes have provided a variety of choreography throughout the basketball season as the team’s sophomores,  juniors, and seniors have made up their own separate first and third quarter dances.  These one minute routines not only give non captains the chance to experience what it is like to choreograph a routine, but also learn the technicality behind creating their own original mix tapes.

“Getting the opportunity to create our own dance was a total learning experience.  We [the sophomores] had to learn how to make up our own dance as opposed to simply following instructed choreography,” said sophomore Harlee Tung.

The Portettes squad enjoyed yet another successful year of performing, and for the seniors, it will be one that is remembered.