Portettes continue to dance into basketball season

Lucas Milgrim, Staff Writer

The Portettes are starting to prepare for basketball season, where they will perform during a number of home games.  After a successful football season, where they danced during the halftime of each home game, they will be looking to learn new routines to show in between each quarter of each basketball game.  The senior captains, Rachel Silverstien, Amanda Jester, Josie Harris, and Claire Blumberg come up with the choreography for each halftime dance.

“The Portettes have worked so hard to perfect our halftime dance and we can’t wait for everyone to see it,” said junior Kate Steigman.

The team began practicing for football season at the beginning of August and did so twice a week until the end of that season.  Starting in the beginning of November, the team began learning choreography and practicing for basketball season.  They will continue to practice their halftime and quarter routines until the beginning of February.  Coached by Ms. Foster-Holzer, the Portettes constantly look to improve as a team and work together. 

“I love watching our school come together to support the basketball team and having the opportunity to showcase our hard work through multiple dances.  We work hard just like any other varsity sport during practices.  We begin our year with football season in which preseason begins in August,” said Steigman.

Being a Portette is even more of a commitment than other sports or clubs because it spans throughout two seasons, taking up more than half of the school year.  The Portettes’ hard work and dedication is what makes the team able to perform so well during the many events that they are a part of.  

Each year, many seniors leave the team, and many new members look to join the team.  To decide what dancers are selected to join for the following year, they hold a tryout towards the end of the school year.  Each aspiring Portette must learn a hip-hop/jazz style dance, successfully participate in a kickline, and show excellence in general dance moves that are commonly used, such as having their right and left splits.  Normally, the team takes between four and eight new dancers each season.  They stay with the Portettes until they graduate, allowing them to form a special bond with all of the other dancers.

“I love being a part of a team with old best friends and new best friends,” said junior Sari Hartstein.

During the basketball season, not only does the entire team work together on a performance, but each grade within the team has their own opportunity to dance together.  After the first and third quarters of each game, one grade will perform their dances.  Each dance lasts about 1 minute, and the half time dance lasts three to four minutes.  

The team stays for the entire remainder of the game, cheering along with the rest of the spectators.  After basketball season finishes, the team only performs one more time during the Memorial Day Parade.  Then, they begin to prepare for tryouts and the next school year.

The Portettes are committed to being a cohesive group that is able to get a crowd excited for their dances and games.  Their hard work during practice helps them learn and perfect the new choreography before each season.  Athletes and spectators alike are all looking forward to see the Portettes perform throughout the basketball season.