Performing and hard work is something the Westside Girls dedicate their afterschool time to. After a hard season of dancing and performing at basketball games, football games, and competitions, they are ready to go to nationals in Orlando, Florida. When performing as one, the team knows it’s important to be one group. In order for this to be achieved, a lot of team bonding must be put in place.
This year the Westside Girls have three routines; pom, jazz, and game day. They practice three times a week for a total of at least five and a half hours, including every other Sunday. On competition weeks they even add two morning practices. To lead them, WSG also has five coaches this year.
Senior captain Riley Elliott said, “We always have a bunch of different opinions kind of rolling around, but they always expect greatness from us,” in regards to their coaching staff.
As the Westside Girls have prepared to take the stage at nationals, they have faced some challenges along the way. Injuries have recently became a problem during the season, like back and foot injuries and, at one point, even an appendix problem. But the coaches and the team are careful to make adjustments as needed and continue to practice just as hard.
As the years go on, competition is something Coach Veronica Scott would say has changed majorly. Scott has been coaching WSG for 15 years, as well as teaching Spanish at Lees Summit West. Originally, she enjoyed playing softball, but after coaching dance for the first time, she “fell in love.”
Scott said, “When I first started coaching, myself and the seniors would choreograph the routines forever. And we never had any outside help. It was always just like… we did everything. And then throughout the years, everybody just got so competitive that they started getting outside choreographers. So it’s, it’s just gotten so much more competitive. Because our choreographer, that’s their full time job… and they’re amazing. So I think that’s been the biggest thing” that has changed.
So far in the season, WSG has done well at their competitions. The jazz dance routine has even placed at competitions. They also have seven solos this year they have performed at competitions. The girls that make up the team is one thing that Scott said is her favorite part. “The girls. I just really like the girls. They are really great.”
As they plan for nationals, senior captain Karlee McEnroe said, “I know what to expect, but a lot of our girls are new. Like we only have four upperclassmen and like nine new freshmen. So that’s a little scary, but I honestly think we’re going to do so good because our routines this year are so different than anything we’ve done. We’ve done so well this whole year. So I think we will be really good, and I’m excited.”
This year’s trip to Orlando, Florida for WSG. Nationals lasts three days for WSG. McEnroe said that after the competition concludes, the team gets to spend some time relaxing together. “Afterwards, we get to go to Universal Studios. Then we usually have a pool day. The whole thing is a team bonding experience and we’re all roomed together. It’s so fun!”
This year’s WSG is ready for nationals. They have prepared, and after a season of competing and performing they will take the stage February 9-14.
Elliot said her favorite thing about WSG is “definitely just the point of the year when you really start to become a team and compete with everyone. I’ve made some lifelong friendships from Westside Girls.”