The Washington Redskins Junior All-Star Dance Team performed during the football season, along with competing at local dance competitions. Check out Shannon's experience this year.
My Washington Redskins Junior All-Stars Dance Team Experience!
By Shannon Thompson
What does it mean to be on the Washington Redskins Junior All-Star Dance Team? It means being the best of the best, and dancing with the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders on the football field and in practice, which is something very special! It means having a love of dance, embracing the coaches' directions and having fun with my team members! I knew that being an All-Star would be a huge challenge, but I felt that I was ready to take on that challenge and I did. The coaches pushed us to do our very best, to be at 110% at all times and to be fully devoted to everything we do. The coaches promoted a positive attitude so that we would grow individually and as a team.
An important part of being an All-Star was the mental preparation and personal discipline that was instilled in the team by practice, practice, practice! The coaches helped us greatly improve our dance technique and posture, which required intense mental focus on each dancer's part. I frequently rehearsed each of the dances we practiced, and worked to improve my dance skills before the next practice. The coaches were very devoted to the team, and worked us very hard. We listened intently to the instruction and corrections, because one person's mistake was everyone's mistake! We did pushups and planks together, and we danced together with enthusiasm and a lot of energy. I loved every minute of it and wouldn't change any part of it!
We participated in several exciting competitions leading up to my most favorite part, which was the Battle at the Capitol (BATC). Here's why it was my favorite: we came together as a team on Friday evening and practiced for almost four hours for the Saturday and Sunday competitions. The team stayed overnight at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, with some of us staying in a suite that overlooked the Potomac River, along with a view of the Washington Monument in the distance. Saturday morning dreadfully started at 5 a.m., to do hair and makeup for our first performance at 7:45 a.m., followed by a second performance at 11:30 a.m. Afterwards, most of the team did some extracurricular activities together. We went swimming and shopping, and had dinner together. On Sunday, we had our hair and makeup call at 5 a.m. We performed again at 7:45 a.m., and at noon. When it was all said and done, we placed third in both Jazz and Hip-Hop. Although the results weren't exactly what we wanted, the journey was worth it all! We had so much fun at the BATC. Participating in the Washington Redskins Junior All-Stars was an opportunity of a lifetime, and sadly, the season wrapped up too quickly!