Q&A With Christen Manning, Dazzlers Coach

Q: What is your plan for the Dazzler’s this year?

Manning coaches the Dazzlers during 3rd period. Photo by Alana Bruni.

A: “This year definitely looks different due to COVID, but this year is a little combination of JV football games and varsity football games. It’s a little bit different than the previous years where they only attended varsity games, so this year we have three JV performances and then we are attending two varsity games. That’s only two varsity slightly because of COVID also because we want that experience still. And then as far as holiday events hopefully we get to do those too. We’re still planning on Christmas on Mercer , we’re working on potentially a fine arts Christmas thing , and then competition season is still in our future , but we are not planning for it quite yet.”

Q:  How has practice been with the new restrictions and guidelines?

A: “For Dazzlers its been really challenging because we normally only meet on Tuesdays and due to COVID our girls practice during third period, so unlike varsity football or Hi-Steppers where they can just show up for the first or last period of the day we can’t just show up for one class period and drive home really quick. Especially because a lot of the girls can’t drive themselves, so we have the challenge of doing most of our work online. The biggest challenge is probably the feedback of the music because everyone hears it at different times even the movement is picked up at different times and just connection issues so that has been the biggest challenge with being online most of the time. And then only once a week to the studio has been a challenge too because we’re all excited to see each other because we have such a limited time that it’s kinda hard to focus even for me because I get excited and want to hang out.”

Q: How has the team been adjusting to everything?

A: “I would say its best as possible, again we’re kinda at a special place because our class is in the middle of the day that its not super ideal, however the girls have been working really hard and learning dances off of videos. This year we have four officers and so thats been a really big blessing because they get to work with their officer and there’s a smaller ratio of three dazzlers to an officer to practice. That’s helping a little bit and also officers have had the opportunity to come in as well so we have more ability to video them and share it with the team. So they have been doing the best they can with the plate we’ve been handed.”

Q: What are you looking forward to the most this year?

A: “I’m really excited for our first two JV games. I gave the new officers the challenge of choreographing their first team routine, so it’s a collaboration of the four girls coming together and it’s too “Thunderstruck” by ACDC. It’s going to be really high energy, it’s a lot of fun so I’m hoping it all comes together because it’s gonna be an awesome experience for them.”

By Abby Hernandez, Staff Writer

Featured photo by Alana Bruni

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