The Paw Print

More Than Just Dancing

Photo+Credits%3A+Duane+Green+and+www.tchstopcats.com
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More Than Just Dancing

Photo Credits: Duane Green and www.tchstopcats.com

Photo Credits: Duane Green and www.tchstopcats.com

Photo Credits: Duane Green and www.tchstopcats.com

Photo Credits: Duane Green and www.tchstopcats.com

Crystal James, Reporter

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 At attention, head held high as she strutted down the field. The cadence played loud as she led her team down the field.

   Junior Lieutenant Erionna Gray has been on the Topcats Drill Team since freshman year. Starting off on junior varsity with little dance experience, she has grown immensely as a dancer. Working incredibly hard to improve the team and herself and being the prime example of a leader and Gussie Nell Davis’ definition of the perfect drill team girl.

    “Being on junior varsity gave me taste of what Topcats is like,” Erionna Gray said. “It prepared me for reality. I am a better dancer because of it.”

    It all started off when her sister motivated her to tryout for the team. Her sister, Asia had been a big part of her life and watching her dance sparked something in Gray. It would be another thing they could connect upon.

    “My sister and I both loved watching dances,” Gray said. “I remember when we were little we loved watching the drill team girls strut through parades. It absolutely amazed me.”

   Starting off on junior varsity motivated her to work even harder and build up a strong work ethic so that she could be officer one day. After a rough rookie year with lots of drama and subpar leadership, Gray realized there needed to be change. She hoped to change the team for the better. Gray wanted to improve the girls as dancers and as people. Even after making officer, she never stopped working hard to insure the Topcats were the best.

   “I felt like the incoming Topcats and former  Topcats needed a fresh new person that would make them excited about dance,” Gray said. “Although I am not perfect I felt like I could fill that position.”

   Gray saw dance as more than just a fine art/sport. She saw it as an opportunity to build strong individuals. To her it is much more than just simply learning a skill and performing it. It is an opportunity to become the best version of oneself.

   “Everyday you figure out something new,” Gray said. A new trick pushes you out of your comfort zone. It builds you into a better person.”

   As a dancer and leader Gray faces many challenges that helps her grow into a stronger person. She puts out her talents for the entire world to see and it is nerve wracking to anticipate what others think of the performance. The biggest challenge she faces is being stuck on a difficult skill and feeling like it is impossible to achieve.

   “There is always a stage where you’re going to go through the “I can’t do this” stage,” Gray said. You just feel as though you are stuck but you have to push through.”

   Being a dancer takes a lot of dedication and hours of long work, especially to achieve new skills, but it is rewarding. The sleepless nights and three hour practices pay off.

   “The road trips in football season are always full of laughter and fun,” Gray said. “ I also love the feeling I get right before going on stage is like fuel for my body when I am on the dance floor. In the end all the hard work is worth it.”

   Dance is a big part of Gray’s life and being able to share it with a large group of girls who share the same passion is the best part of being on Topcats.

   “Honestly, dance is the only thing I have ever been consistent with, and it’s something that doesn’t bore me,” Gray said. “Being able to share that same love with other girls is amazing. I like being on a team because you always have somebody to lean on when you’re down and you never feel alone.”

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Crystal James, Contributer

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More Than Just Dancing