The Hi-Steppers are the drill team for DSHS and have had to drastically adjust the way they practice and get together. With the newest issue, COVID-19, rules have become more strict such as staying six feet apart and having to constantly sanitize. However they have figured out new ways to keep going despite this setback.
“We’re wearing masks,” Hi-Stepper Director Tracy Neef said. “The majority of the time we are about six to eight feet apart all the time in the studio, so that has been a little bit difficult not being able to practice close together in formation, but I think the team has adjusted well.”
Their dance room has recently gone under renovation to double in size which has helped with the spacing that must be followed. Not only has it helped follow guidelines, but also allowed the dancers to help better themselves.
“We can do things full out now because a lot of the time we’d have to mark stuff because we didn’t have room or if we were dancing in formation everyone was so squished together and so now we can actually do it more full out,” sophomore Olivia Funk said.
With having to be more spread out and distanced it has been harder to talk to others and get to know one and other. However they are still trying to make those new connections and bonds.
“We don’t have our normal opportunities to come together and grow together,” senior Faith Daniels said. “Especially for the new members I know it is much more difficult. I do see lots of seniors and upperclassmen asking for the new member’s numbers and reaching out to them though. We will find a way through this and going back to school in person will definitely help.”
Not only has it been hard for members to meet each other, but also the newest members or rookies have also had to learn how everything works from being online or distanced from others. Though there’s been a few challenges the rest of the team has helped them through it.
“I would say it’s not too difficult because everyone is really friendly and you figure things out pretty quickly,” sophomore Lizzy McDowell said. “But remembering stuff the whole team has known for a couple of years that’s kinda different because somethings like formations and certain chants and parts of dances people have already known. And then it just takes longer to get used to that. But as far as dance wise goes it’s not that hard to keep up.”
The captain on the team has also had to adjust to COVID-19 as well by having to change how things are done, but tries to make the best of the situation.
“I get stressed out easily and it’s a lot of pressure obviously, but on the other hand this is such a great experience,” Captain Peyton Beck said. “I’m gaining so many leadership skills, I’ve gotten closer to Neef and Manning, I feel more connected to people on the team just because what I’m doing, I’m not in ranks and focusing on a small group of people. I focus on everyone, so in a way I feel more connected to people.”
Through all of this the team has tried to have a more positive outlook on things and focus on the good rather than the bad. This way they can have a memorable and productive year.
“Because we didn’t get to have a lot of opportunities to dance in person over summer I’ve been trying to be more optimistic about the ones that we currently have right now,” sophomore Elise Chiang said.
By Abby Hernandez, Staff Writer
Featured photo by Kayla Childress