Portettes adapt and embrace new sports season

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Jesse Schiff, Contributing Writer

 The Portettes, the varsity dance and kickline team at Schreiber High School, traditionally perform during Varsity Football home games and some home boys and girls Varsity Basketball games.  The normal Portette season also includes performing at parades and hosting some of their own clinics for younger children in the community.  The Portettes are known for their Rockette-style kickline, which is always a highlight of their performances.  The squad currently has 22 students on the roster, led by captains Emily Milgrim, Kate Steigman, Sari Hartstein, and Kendra Ducharme.  This season will look quite different for the Portette squad because of the pandemic. 

 

Like all teams at Schreiber, the Portettes had to figure out how to practice while following the guidelines set in place by the school.  The team had to quickly learn complicated choreography to be ready for their first performance, since their practice time was shortened.  The Portettes signature kickline is on pause for this season, as the team is not allowed to touch during the performances, a major disappointment to the team members and their fans.  The squad is also required to stay in the same position throughout the dance.  The captains had to take this into consideration when choreographing their routines.  With no preseason and limited field time, the girls practice in the auditorium, while being six feet apart at all times.  This was a major challenge for the team: in years past, they were accustomed to practicing on fields and having open space to work with.  The Portettes were scheduled to perform during three varsity football games, all of which would be livestreamed. However, due to football team quarantines, the team may be performing for some Varsity Soccer games as well.  Along with the live games, the team looked for a different route to showcase their talents to the school.

“We have really learned how to make the best out of a bad situation.  We got to have so many experiences that we would not have otherwise had.  The team is working extremely hard and I am so proud of them,” said senior captain Sari Hartstein.  

The Portettes are hoping to get everything they can out of this season.  This means looking outside the box to perform and do what they love.  One way the team achieved this is by participating in the Schreiber High School musical.  They are part of the ensemble as featured background dancers in the Schreiber Theatre Company production of Disney’s High School Musical Jr.  It will no doubt be a challenge for the whole team, as they have only performed during sports games throughout the squad’s history.  

“The team is working so hard to make the best out of the season we have!  Although it’s not typical, everyone is doing the best they can,” said senior captain Kate Steigman.  

The team is looking forward to this new experience.  Instead of a live performance, the team will have the opportunity to venture into a new form of media.  The school’s production will be produced as a movie.  This will require patience from the team, as multiple takes are required to get the perfect shot. 

 “We can’t wait for the school to see us perform,” said Steigman. 

The captains of the Portettes have taught their group to be grateful for the chance to perform and are constantly leading and teaching the underclassmen ways to succeed in the program. 

Catch the Portettes’ performance during the live stream of Varsity Football games at halftime. In addition, look for the release of Schreiber Theatre Company’s production of Disney’s High School Musical Jr. in May 2021 and support the Portettes as they explore new ways to perform.