Bruin Girls head to camp, create unique bond

Drew Rodgers

Showing off one of the competition dances at the showcase Jan. 26, the Bruin Girls pose at the end of the song. The girls went to the state competition Jan. 27 and won fourth place for their Pom dance.
After perfecting their competition dances, the Bruin Girls rushed to state in February. There, they placed fourth for their Pom dance and with that, the season came to a close. The girls knew they would need to improve for next year and kept that in mind during their tryouts held only a month before the end of the school year the week of April 9-12 .
“The tryouts took place over four days,” junior Morgan Nuetzmann said.  “Monday through Wednesday we were going across the floor and learning a jazz and pom routine to show to the judges during try outs on Thursday. Lots of the new girls were nervous, but I was excited to see everyone’s improvements and see how the results came out.”
At the end of the try-outs, the four team captains this year, Nuetzmann and juniors Leia Tarbox, Josie Camden and Katherine Odom, welcomed 15 Bruin Girls onto the team. The captains, along with the members of the squad, will be heading to a camp in St. Louis, July 12-15. There, the girls will compete against other teams, take extra dance classes and learn a new dance to compete at the end of the week.
“This year should be just as great [as last year],” junior Kate Harline said, “getting to know all of the new girls and seeing their strengths and weaknesses and learning to use them as a team. And I am looking forward to getting in shape.”
After the girls complete their dance camp, they will have the summer to relax. However, at the beginning of next year, they will start practicing  immediately for the upcoming season.
“I’m really excited to work with our new team and just get to know each other and grow closer,” sophomore Reagan DeClerk said. “I think with hard work and determination we will do very well next year.”
Along with dancing on the school team, some members dance competitively for Columbia Performing Arts Center as well. One worry for the girls on the team is balancing their time spent practicing for the school team and time spent at CPAC, which leaves little time for socializing.
“Dance is a big part of my life because I do Bruin Girls and CPAC,” Nuetzmann said, “so I dance every day during the week after school until nine so I don’t really get to see my family and hang out with friends outside of dance. But it’s all worth it because I get to do what I love to do.”
As the rest of the school finishes up this school year, the Bruin Girls are hard at work learning their dance for camp this summer while, at the same time, bonding to build a strong team for next year.
“For some of the girls that are on the team, we’ve known each other just about our whole life,” DeClerk said. “The others are new to the team and we are getting to know them but I can tell we will all get along well. Right now, we are learning our camp dance and just cleaning and running the dance until it is perfect. I’m really excited for the school to see it.”
By Drew Rodgers