Leesville’s Dance Ensemble made arrangements to perform at the 2010 Orange Bowl’s Halftime Show on January 5.
The dancers were invited to perform in the show in May of last year and have been hastily making preparations ever since, participating in fundraisers to earn the money needed for accommodations. Selling Butter Braids, distributing money cards at Harris Teeter, working concession stands at Durham Bulls games, and holding a benefit concert helped the Ensemble accumulate the $1,300 needed per person.
“Bowl Games of America announced we had been selected to perform. I believe we were nominated by a committee that searches out young talent for these events,” explained Cindy Hoban, Leesville’s Dance Ensemble teacher, in an email interview. “Perhaps through YouTube videos, and my personal history in dance and various connections, we got chosen to perform.”
In addition to performing on a nationwide televised event, the Ensemble will participate in a week-long dance convention. The convention will have a slew of celebrity choreographers, such as So You Think You Can Dance’s Shane Sparks and Mandy Moore, to offer advice and technique tips to the dancers.
The dancers, who plan to stay in Miami for a full week after New Year’s Day, have a busy schedule to adhere to. “We rehearse every day until midnight, practicing with the other dancers on the field with the performing artist,” said Abby Jenkins, junior.
Jenkins continued to explain other difficulties of the looming performance. “Someone is mailing us a DVD with the choreographer’s dance moves on it for us to learn,” she said. Another issue is the lack of practice with the other dance teams beforehand.
This is Hoban’s biggest performance with the Dance Ensemble. “We are all so excited about the trip… we will be performing in front of thousands and thousands of people,” she said. “[We are] so proud to represent the best school in Wake County-LRHS!!!”