HERE - Gateway High School Dance Team

Gateway Dance Team 2015-2016 Tryout Information
Thank you for your interest in the Gateway Dance Team; our team provides half-time entertainment at athletic
events, performs at various school functions, and represents the school and community at various dance
competitions through the year.
This packet should contain insight into the program including cost, policies, and procedures. It is imperative
that both dancers and their parents read over the entire packet and understand the level of commitment it
takes to be a member of the team. Please direct any questions or concerns to head coach Sarah Picon at
[email protected]
About the Program
The mission of the Gateway High School Dance Team is to promote school spirit & unity, uphold scholastic
standards, and encourage positive habits that pave the way for a lifetime of success.
The GHS dance program consists of one Varsity team, under the direction of Coach Sarah Picon. Since her
start with the team in the spring of 2013, the program has significantly grown and changed into an allencompassing dance program; it’s ultimately our goal to continue down a thriving path, while striving for
personal and squad excellence. Dancers should be able to walk away with a sense of pride, positive selfesteem, time management skills, motivation, dedication, and many other wonderful attributes.
Being a part of the team requires a 12 month commitment. Dancers will be expected to attend all practices,
games, competitions, camp, team workouts, and other special events. We are first and foremost a school
support squad, but do compete in local, state, and potentially national competitions.
Not only are dancers required to be committed, parents are as well. Parents are expected to be supportive of
their child and the squad as a whole, financially responsible, participate in fundraising, and volunteer as
opportunities arise.
The financial commitment for the GHSDT is rather hefty as there are many monetary obligations that will occur
through the year. Personal costs for a new member can be up to $1,400. Please do not let the costs detour
you, fundraising opportunities will take place throughout the year to help offset personal and team expenses.
Members will be required to abide by the GHSDT constitution, the GHS student athletic code, as well as
CHSAA athlete guidelines. Additionally, all members must complete a GHS athletic packet and have a current
physical on file.
To ensure that each member is up to date on the latest team activities, will be the main
team communication hub. This resource will provide a team calendar, uniform information, documents, and
other useful links. It is the primary responsibility of the dancer to stay “in the know”. 2015 Tryouts
Tuesday March 3rd (3:45-5:45; GHS Commons)
Today you will get an in depth overview of the program from the Coach and current Dance Team Seniors.
Packets will be handed out and expectations will be addressed. Warm up and conditioning and preliminary
choreography will follow. Wednesday March 4th (3:45-5:45; GHS Commons)
Today you will warm up, condition, and wrap up choreography, and technique.
Thursday March 5th (3:45-5:45; GHS Commons)
Today we will review material and paperwork will be collected. This is your last chance to ask questions and to
prepare for your upcoming audition. Paperwork is due today if you wish to continue, NO EXCEPTIONS!
Friday March 6th (4-6pm; GHS Small Gym)
Individual auditions/Interviews will begin promptly at 4pm. Dancers will be given an assigned number and
perform individually as their number is called; performers are permitted to leave following their audition.
Participants will be judged on four articles: 1. individual technique 2. learned routine 3. original choreography
and 4. interview with the judges. Auditions are strictly closed to spectators. Results
Results for the 2015-2016 GHSDT will be posted online, Saturday March 7th, by 10am at
The coach will be available to discuss results the following week via e-mail for interested parties; score sheets
will be shredded after the one week window passes. For those of you that make the team we will have a
mandatory parent meeting on Tuesday March 10th at 6pm in the commons. Tryout week will be a very tedious week! To ensure optimal performance please get enough sleep,
drink lots of water, make healthy food choices, and keep a positive attitude.
Tryout Requirements
Dancers will audition in front of a panel of judges who are highly knowledgeable in high school dance and
spirit. The judges will base their selections on the criteria listed below. Coach Picon will ultimately have final
jurisdiction over the members selected for the team. Attendance and Paperwork:
Attend and successfully complete the tryout process March 3rd – 6th. Tryout packets (with appropriate paper
work) and tryout fee of $20 are due to Coach Sarah by Thursday March 5th. ABSOLUTELY NO
EXCEPTIONS! If your paperwork is not in by Thursday you will not be permitted to tryout!
Tryout Pieces:
Learned technical elements (leaps, turns, etc.) – taught by GHSDT coach/seniors
Learned Routine – taught by GHSDT coach/seniors
Original Choreography to school appropriate song – a showcase of your best abilities!
Interview with the Judging Panel
Technical Elements:
Right/Left Double Pirouette
Right/Left Splits
Right/Left Extension
Kicks above waist height
Right/Left Grand Jete
C Jump
Toe Touch
Potential over Perfection – If you’re willing to learn, you’re the perfect candidate!
Each candidate will be asked several random questions by the judging panel at the conclusion of their audition.
Questions will range from facts about Gateway to reasons why you would be an asset to the squad; please see
Coach Sarah if you would like to better prepare for your interview.
Academics: To tryout for the squad, dancers must have completed the 1st semester with a 2.0 GPA or higher. A copy of
your grades must be attached and turned in along with the other required paperwork in order to audition.
Tryout Week Attire: Please come dressed for success with an appropriate appearance to include:
Fitted white t-shirt with black dance pants or appropriate length black shorts.
Jazz shoes, jazz sneakers, or dance paws. No socks or bare feet allowed.
Hair neatly pulled back and out of your face, with tasteful and school appropriate makeup.
If selected to be a member of the GHSDT you will be taking on a very time consuming endeavor. Regular
practices for the new season will begin in March and run through May to prepare for NDA camp at the end of
July. During the pre-season dancers will practice Monday - Thursday from 3:45-5:45. The squad will then have
6 weeks off and resume practice at the end of June, prior to camp. It is the primary responsibility of the
individual to maintain endurance and optimal physical shape through the “off season”.
During the school year (August-February) practice is scheduled for 3:45-5:45 Monday - Thursday. GHSDT
members are also required to pay for and attend a twice monthly team technique class on Thursdays.
Changes to the schedule may occur at any time, please stay up to date by visiting the team web page,, for updates. All members will be expected to attend and perform at all home sporting events; these include but are not
limited to Varsity football and basketball games, pep rallies, parades, assemblies, playoffs and other
miscellaneous school support events that take place throughout the year. The team will compete in regional
and state competitions including the EMAC League Competition, the 2015 CHSAA State Spirit Competition,
and potentially NDA/UDA events. Extra practices may be scheduled on Saturdays to better prepare the team
for these and other special events. Being a member of the GHSDT means that you will be highly visible in the city of Aurora & GHS School
community; we may be called upon to take part in miscellaneous activities, events, and services. Please be
prepared to give back to the community that has shown our school and students so much support. Lastly, members have a commitment to the success and growth of the squad. Team activities including outings,
dinners, and fundraisers will take place through the course of the year. These events are designed to build
team morale and bring members closer together. It’s imperative that dancers take part in these bonding
activities. Expenses
If selected for the squad there is a significant financial obligation that must be met. A year on the team can cost
up to $1,400; these expenses do not account for additional choreography, competitions, music, and
miscellaneous items. As a coach I will do my best to offset the cost of the program by offering fundraising
opportunities during the year. Fundraisers for individual member benefit do not require participation but are
exceptionally helpful. Our fundraising calendar is very full during the first 4 months of the season in effort to
help you raise as much money as possible to have balances paid off by early June. Payments must be made
in full by the due date or your child risks being benched until payment is made. An itemized list of 2015-2016
expected expenses can be found on the next page.
2015/2016 Expenses for a New Member (returners expenses will vary)
Uniforms: $621.20 – “Olys” Top, “GHS” Top, “G” Pep
Dress, Jazz Pants, Warm Up Jacket, Warm Up Pants,
Team Hoodie, Poms, Dance Backpack, Plus Shipping
*Camp & Practice Clothes: $162.52 – Clothes to be worn at
camp and practice. Includes 3 t-shirts and 3 shorts.
*On Your Own Summer Essentials: $90 –Black Jazz *On Your Own Fall Essentials (Comp Costume): $80 – We
Shoes, Tan Jazz Shoes, Team Tennis Shoes. You are will compete in Jazz at League and State. Coach will order
responsible for ordering these.
NDA Camp: $329 - Includes four days and three nights (not included in yearly total) Athletic Fee: $60 - Paid
of dance instruction, housing, all meals, and the
directly to Athletic Secretary, covers both fall and winter
chance to compete and receive a bid to Nationals!
Payment Due Dates to Gateway HS
TO GHS: $371 Rookie - Uniform/Camp Clothes
DUE to GHS March 31st
*On your own Summer total – Aprox $90 – Items
need to be on hand by June 29th
TO GHS: $371 Rookie - Uniform/Camp Clothes
DUE to GHS April 28th
Athletic Fee - $60 due to GHS in August (given
to Athletic Secretary)
TO GHS: $371 Rookie - Camp DUE to GHS May 27th
*On your own Fall total – Aprox $80 – Items
paid in full by October 5th
All payments are due on the designated date.
Payments must be given directly to the GHS bookkeeper;
a copy of the receipt must be given to the coach. *These items are to be ordered on your own, no payment will be given to GHS.
Gateway Dance Team Constitution
The GHS Dance Team promotes and supports school spirit, traditions, and institutions to the highest degree at
all times; whether in uniform or not. Academics:
Students must be enrolled in at least 5 classes
On a game day, dancers who arrive more than 3 periods late or miss the entire day will be ineligible from
dancing at the event unless the AD has given written/verbal consent.
Students on either in-school or out-of-school suspensions are not permitted to attend any day, evening, or
weekend activities (practices, contests, extra-curricular events). A student's suspension will end at 12:00
midnight on the final day of suspension.
Gateway checks eligibility on a semester basis. If you fail one or more classes at the conclusion of the
semester, you will be ineligible for the entire following semester. Coach checks eligibility every Thursday and runs on a week to week basis. Dancers with two D’s or one F will
be benched until their grades meet minimum team standards. Attendance:
Dancers are required to be at all scheduled games, practices, and events.
Arriving to scheduled events on time is mandatory. If a member of the team is going to be late, a phone call must be made to notify the coach as soon as
possible. It is your responsibility to schedule all outside commitments around the squad calendar; this includes doctor’s
appointments, work, vacations, and other outside activities.
Excused absences are as follows:
Personal illness, Injury, or Family Emergency with coach notification as soon as possible; Funeral or Family
Loss; Academic Responsibility or Special School Activities; Extenuating Circumstances Acceptable to the
Coach. **Please let Coach know in written form at least 3 days prior to missed practice/event Excessive absence (excused or unexcused) will result in disciplinary action on a case by case basis. Any squad member who misses a practice within 7 calendar days of a performance (excused or unexcused)
may be pulled from the event at coaches’ discretion. Practice:
All practices, as indicated on the calendar, will be mandatory. Hair must be pulled back and out of your face at all times. Squad members must wear their assigned practice clothes each day. When a dancer is late to practice, they will plank for each minute they are late.
Dancers are not permitted to practice if Coach Sarah or designated supervisor is not present. Cell phones must be left in a bag or purse to be used during water breaks only. If there is an emergency, parents may reach the coach at any time via her phone.
Games, Competitions, Events:
Dancers are required to be at all scheduled events as indicated on the calendar.
Members should be dressed in the assigned uniform, from bow to toe. If a particular member fails to wear a
piece of the assigned uniform the entire team will remove the missing article or the dancer will not perform. Squad members observed acting inappropriately will receive a demerit. Dancers are expected to pay attention to the game being played, support GHS cheerleaders and athletes, be
professional representatives of GHS, and stay until the end of the game.
Cell phones must be placed in a bag from the start of the game until the start of 4th quarter.
Members will be disciplined according to a demerit system; below are examples of scenarios and the demerit
that would result. A hard copy will be given out to document the situation and must be signed by a parent and
returned by the next practice. Dancers will have the opportunity to work off up to 3 demerits per semester with
activities coordinated by the coach and captains.
Academic Ineligibility = 3 demerits, immediate benching
Academic Probation (Initiated by School Official/AD/Teacher, etc.) = 3 demerits, immediate benching
Serious discipline issues at school = 3 demerits, immediate benching Disrespect towards a coach, captain, team member, peer, teacher, or school official = 3 demerits Unexcused absence from practice, game, or event = 2 demerits Inappropriate language = 2 demerits
Unsportsmanlike conduct at a game or event = 2 demerits Wrongly attired at practice, school, or event = 2 demerits
Being late to a practice, game, or event = 1 demerit
Missing Dance Team Homework = 1 demerit
**Other scenarios not outlined in the constitution will be handled on a case by case basis.**
The following actions will be taken based on the number of demerits earned: 3 demerits = the dancer will be benched one game. 12 demerits = the dancer will lose their letter.
15 demerits = the dancer will be removed from the program.
Chain of Command:
Coach First - Any problems a team member may have with the team, a team member, or coach must be
addressed directly by the student. Please allow 48 hours for the coach to make a decision and re-address the
Parent Second - If the issue at hand is still not resolved, then a parent may be contacted. Again, please allow
48 hours for coach to make a decision and re-address the problem.
Administration Third - If the issue is not resolved with team member, coach, and parent, then student and
parent must contact the Athletic Director, Mr. Varner.
- Members are required to have a current physical/athletic packet on file.
- Grade sheets are due every Thursday to ensure dancer eligibility.
- The skills you present at tryouts are to be maintained throughout the year.
- Participation in team fundraisers and activities is mandatory. - Individuals are responsible for their own transportation to and from events. - Competing at League and State is a privilege and not a right; all members will be required to earn their spot in
these performances via an audition. - Participation in conflicting fall/winter sports is not permitted. Dance Team is your first priority. - Members with past due account balances pose the risk of being benched from practice/performances until
their account is current and up to date.
- The use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs will absolutely not be tolerated and is grounds for immediate
termination from the program. - Members are required to attend and pay for team technique classes which are held twice a month (from JulyFebruary) at a cost of $20 per month
- Online hazing/bullying/inappropriate conduct is taken very seriously and will not be tolerated. If a situation is
brought to light, school administration will be immediately engaged for disciplinary action. - Dancers with twitter accounts are encouraged to follow the team Twitter and Facebook as updates will
frequently be posted. - Dancers are required to have their own E-mail address for team/coach communications. - Dancers & Parents are to respect coaching decisions and understand that they are made for the betterment
of the team.
- Absolutely no Pomzillas!
We have read the entire GHSDT Constitution and understand that these are the rules
our dancer will be bound by for the duration of the dance season.
2015-2016 GHS Dance Team Application (Please legibly print in pen)
Dancer Name:____________________________________________________________________________
Home Address:___________________________________________________________________________
Dancer Cell Phone:________________________________Home Phone: _____________________________
Dancer E-Mail
Date of Birth:______________________________________________________________________
Present Grade: 8 9 10 11
School Currently Attending:__________________________________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Name:_____________________________________________________________________ Parent E-Mail:______________________________________________________________________ Parent Cell Phone:_________________________________________________________________ Please list any extracurricular activities that you are currently involved in, at school or elsewhere.
Are you willing to plan outside activities around your dance schedule? Y N
If not, please explain:_______________________________________________________________________
Do you work? Y N If so, are you willing to plan your work schedule around your dance schedule? Y N
If not, please explain:_______________________________________________________________________ Are you willing to spend up to $1,400 on uniforms, camps, clinics, transportation, competitions, and other
expenses? Y N
If not, please explain:_______________________________________________________________________
Dancers will be required to take team technique classes twice per month. Are you willing to attend these
classes? Y N
If not, please explain:_______________________________________________________________________
NDA Dance camp is required and will take place July 14th – 17th. Are you willing to attend camp? Y N
If not, please explain:_______________________________________________________________________
Practice will take place four days a week all summer, excluding most of the month of June. Can vacations be
arranged during this time frame? Y N
If not, please explain:_______________________________________________________________________
Are you willing to fulfill the time commitment that it takes to be on the squad, this includes working around
birthdays, vacations, etc.? Y N If not, please explain:_______________________________________________________________________
Are you willing to accept and abide by the outlined rules of the GHSDT constitution? Y N
If not, please explain:_______________________________________________________________________ Please list any previous injuries.
Please list any previous dance experience, including but not limited to studio, all stars, dance/drill team,
cheerleading, etc. ________________________________________________________________________________________
Please explain why you want to be a part of the Gateway Dance program.
What main strengths would you bring to the team?
If you are a returning spirit leader, please be advised that you are not guaranteed a position on the squad! We have read the entire application, tryout packet, and agreements for participating in GHS Dance Team
tryouts. We understand that these will be policies by which our dancer will be bound by if she makes the
squad. As a parent, I understand that I will be financially responsible for my dancer if she makes the team.
Tryout Checklist
Please use the checklist below to ensure that all required paperwork is turned in by the due date. Please keep
in mind that all forms must be turned in together to Coach Sarah no later than Thursday March 5th, failure to
do so will result in inability to tryout; NO EXCEPTIONS!
□ GHSDT application signed by Dancer and Parent.
□ Copy of your first semester report card.
□ One teacher recommendation (new dancers only). □ $20 Tryout Fee – no refunds will be given. □ Positive attitude, willingness to learn, lots of energy, and a big smile! Closing Remarks
Being a member of the Gateway High School Dance Team is no doubt a worthwhile and meaningful
experience. Entering my third year as head coach, it is again my goal to incorporate knowledge, discipline,
excitement, and respect to create a balanced and enjoyable program. I can only hope that members will be
able to look back on past seasons with a sense of fulfillment and to future seasons with great expectations. I
sincerely appreciate your interest in the team and look forward to seeing you at tryouts; whether you have
been dancing for years, or you just started this year, I would love to see you there! If you have any questions or
concerns regarding information outlined in this packet please feel free to contact me directly.
Good Luck and Best Wishes!
Sarah Picon
GHS Varsity Dance Team Coach [email protected]
GHS Dance Team Teacher Evaluation (New Dancers Only)
Student Name:__________________________________Teacher Name:______________________________
This form will be used in the GHS Dance Team tryout score for the student listed above. This form should be
filled out and returned directly to the student in a sealed envelope with their name on it. If you have any
questions please feel free to contact me directly.
Thank you for your time,
Sarah Picon
Gateway Varsity Dance Team Coach
[email protected]
Respect of Authority/Peers
Effort/Quality of Work
Honesty and Integrity
Overall Attitude
Would this Student make a good spirit leader?
Teacher Signature: