Meet Alex Duran, Ali Campos, Amber Wharton, and Jayden Lamas.
Duran and Lamas have been on the Pueblo West High School Dance Team for all four years of their high school career. Wharton has been on the team for three years, and this is Campos’ second year.
The annual pigskin game has just passed, and since these four girls are seniors, it was a pretty emotional time.
Duran said, “My first pigskin was something I did not expect. We were busy for months learning two dances! I remember the stress of learning a dance the day of.But I can just remember the memories we had during that time. It was something I will cherish for a lifetime.I got close with the team during that time.
Duran then explained how her senior experience was different, “This year’s pigskin was something I will carry on for a lifetime. It was an honor to choreograph the pigskin assembly dance and dancing with my team. I was so thrilled when I was going to be able to host the team at my house to get ready and well, of course, eat. I hope to remember the memories I made 10 years after graduation. I will always be so honored to have been able to dance 4 years at each pigskin which all have very different meanings and memories that will forever be apart of my heart!”
Since Campos has only been dancing for two years, she was not on the dance team her freshman year, so her experience was a little different.
She reported, “My first pigskin was so much fun! I wasn’t on the dance team so I was in the stands with the rest of the student body. I had such a fun time doing the cheers and being involved in the crowd.
She followed by mentioning,”My last pigskin compared to my first pigskin was pretty great as well. I absolutely love being on the dance team and performing for half time and being on the sidelines. Having that spirit to share with the student section is such a good feeling. If I had to choose which one was my favorite, I would have to say my senior year.”
Wharton was also not on the dance team her freshman year, but her first pigskin on the dance team was definitely an experience.
Quoting Wharton, “Oh goodness let me see if I can remember that long ago. My first pigskin, I didn’t know what to expect at all. During our first performance for the whole school was, of course, the assembly, and I was beyond nervous.”
Wharton Mentioned how she recalled the events of her day before the game bagan, “I do remember the game being home and getting ready at one of the dancer’s house. I thought it was fun and exciting.”
Wharton explained the stresses of pep-weeks for the Dance Team, “Pigskin week in general is just overwhelming for dance team. I do also remember learning a dance in a day before pigskin game.”
She noted, however, that her senior pigskin was much better than her first, “I believe this pigskin was the best out of all three years I’ve been on. Mostly because we got the trophy back of course, but I feel like this year we have a lot of potential to show as a team and I’m happy the way my last pigskin ended.”
Lamas has been on the dance team alongside Duran for all four years, so her first pigskin was different from Campos’ and Wharton’s.
Lamas said, “My first pigskin had my heart racing with excitement being a freshman and everyone watching me on the field. Getting ready with the team felt like a family and I was learning so much from the older girls.”
Lamas noted the difference in emotions when comparing the two games, “My last pigskin was just as amazing, but I was heartbroken that it was my last pigskin. I wasn’t going to be able to feel the excitement as I did ever after this one. It was also an amazing feeling because I am a role model for all of the incoming girls and it makes me happy and I just never want it to go away.”
All of the girls felt that their last pigskin was successful for different reasons.
Duran said, “I feel that it was, we worked very hard and it’s such a rewarding feeling when people give compliments about how well the team did.”
Campos believed that her last pigskin was successful for the school and for her experience because West brought the trophy back home, and the team performed well and brought a lot of cyclone spirit with them.
Wharton reported that this game had the biggest student section she has seen from West. Also, the dance team have been practicing for the big game since the middle of the summer, and the hard work payed off.
Wharton also mentioned that the football team never backed down even when West was ahead by a few touchdowns.
She believes that everyone’s excitement is what made it best.
Both Duran and Campos said that their favorite part is the adrenaline rush, nerves, and excitement of waiting to perform before each halftime and assembly.
Wharton said her favorite part was performing and being on the sidelines and, of course, seeing everyone “getting hyped throughout the game.”
Lamas loves being together with the team and the excitement of dancing.
Since these four girls are seniors, and sadly, this is their last year at the school and on the dance team, they explored the things they would miss the most about the team after they graduated.
AlexDuran said, “Coming in and always sharing laughs and crazy stories about what happened at school. And of course Jenna Kristan when she gives me back tickles because I force her too.”
Campos told us, “Probably performing. Like I said, I love that rush of excitement. I’ll miss performing with my girls and knowing we worked so hard to get that routine and the feeling of all the hard work paying off.”
Wharton announced, “When I first joined, it was only because I wanted to get involved in high school. I actually liked it and continued for my last three years. I’ll miss everyone I have met and just being there in general. I definitely will not miss running.”
Lamas’ response was a little more emotional.
She said, “I will miss having people to go to when I need them the most and feeling like I have a family.”
The girls explored what parts of their experience they considered to be the best and worst.
Duran mentioned, “My best year would be this year, every dance we do I learn to cherish it because I know it’s a last. And my worst would be my freshman year being up in front and forgetting the dance for pigskin. It was embarrassing and I am truly scared from the embarrassment.”
Campos stated, “My best experience on dance team so far would probably have to be my Halloween dance my sophomore year. That dance was so much fun to perform and as a team, we all did things together and we all clicked really well together. My worst experience would have to be trying out my sophomore and senior year. I have really bad hips so they don’t allow me to do certain movements so that has been the most difficult part about dance for me overall as well.”
Wharton expressed that her best experience would have to be when she made the team, and any other time performing because dancing is something she likes to do. She said she doesn’t have a bad experience.
Lamas voiced that her best experience would probably be being a senior on the team and the worst would be the state fair parades every year because she gets dehydrated and it’s hot.
These four girls are dedicated to the dance team and will sure be missed by the team when they graduate, but for now, the team plans to enjoy the rest of the year and football and basketball seasons!
Make sure to watch out for these fierce girls at the dance team’s next performance!