Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ghoulish Pleasures

Ghoulish Pleasures

For years they were the girls in the spandex and sequins who shook their collective booty during halftime at high school football and basketball games. Four years ago, they became something else.

Now they're winners, multiplied by one million dollars.

The West Springfield Dance Team, 16 kids representing my high school in suburban DC, made it out of the Wild Card Round on "America's Got Talent" Wednesday night. They're going to the semifinals next week, with a chance at one million bucks and a spot as Las Vegas headliners, because, I reckon, they won America's hearts.

Kudos go to these spunky gals and guys, who are willing to work four hours every afternoon after school to perfect their craft. And props, as well, to the coaches/choreographers, Tara Perez and Jason King, who have transformed this troupe from a gaggle of dancer-wannabes into a seriously scary ensemble.

Three team members were in my classes this year. They do "The Matrix," with full trenchcoat regalia, to a "T." That routine won them the NDA National Championship two years in a row. Although "AGT" judge Sharon Osbourne dubs them winners for their "drama," their style is basically from the hip-hop end of the dance spectrum. These kids work hard to be out there, pushing the envelope, and they were rewarded Wednesday for their efforts.

The snap above, shot during a basketball halftime performance, shows just part of the team, but points up both their drama and their skill. I'm amazed, and proud, all at once. All hail to the West Springfield Dance Team.

I have only one question: If "America's Got Talent" coincides with the start of school, just where will you be, kiddos?


Kara Garbe Balcerzak said...

And what if they win at the end? Do they drop out of school and take up in Vegas? But in any case, I'm super impressed. I think I would have liked WSHS more if this kind of thing had been a part of the culture back then...

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Sarah said...

So much better than the scantly clad "cheerleaders" of the past!

Lucy said...

They won't be in school! I am sure you are feeling pride and a little bit of "Wow, never thought it would land them on a television show" LOL.

Tracy P. said...

How exciting! Too bad you can't be where they will be!

Working Mommy said...

I am so extremely happy for them! Tara and I went to college together and she danced there. Those kids definitely have a special talent that deserved to be noticed!


Cheryl said...

This is awesome! How did they do?

Nikita Ladner said...

Hello my name is Nikita Ladner. I am a student at the University of South Alabama, currently in EDM 310. It was interesting to read about your dance group. I do not get to watch television much but I hope that the Ghoulish Pleasures won. That is a truly inspiring story on how they pushed their selves so much and come so far. I hope they keep up the hard work and dedication so they can become something so great.

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