Arts and athletics will intersect this winter at Carrollton High School. Practice for the school’s inaugural dance team began this week.
The new team is recognized by the Georgia High School Association and allows dancers to compete in jazz, hip hop, pom and kickline.
Coach Janey Simmons said she is thrilled for this new chapter and thinks it will be great for student dancers.
“There are so many students who drive all over Georgia to private studios for dance instruction,” said Simmons. “It is going to be amazing to allow students to pursue their passion for dance right here at school so they can feel a part of CHS extracurriculars — tying their love for dance with school pride. I am excited to be coaching this team and feel confident we will build something special.”
Simmons began her dancing career at a young age and continued after college.
“I am a trained dancer in hip hop, jazz, ballet, tap and contemporary,” she said. “I competed regionally and nationally with The Dance Factory in Atlanta for 14 years. After college, I signed with a talent agency where I booked gigs for music videos with popular artists. During that time, I was also an NFL cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons.”
Athletic director Paul Fitz-Simons said he thinks Simmons will do a great job coaching the team and is looking forward to watching this program grow.
“I am excited for the opportunity to have a competitive dance team at CHS,” he said. “Some of our students have been dancing competitively since they were very young. It is great that we can give them a chance to compete as Trojans now and I think Coach Simmons is the perfect fit as head coach.”
Simmons noted that dance provides students a good outlet for self expression.
“Dance is beneficial to our students because it's about expressing yourself and having fun with the added benefit of making other people who watch you entertained and happy as well,” she said. “And there is not just one right way to do it! There are so many different styles to represent a variety of emotions and cultures. No matter what's going on in the world, people will always dance.”
Thirteen students made the team last month. Practice began Oct. 25 and the first competition for the team will be in January of next year.
The team will also perform at various school events such as pep rallies and games.
Simmons said tryouts went great and she is ready to get started.
“I am most excited to show everyone what we can do and how much dance is going to add to our school spirit,” she said. “The dance team will add so much pizazz to our school events and I am really eager to get going!”