Placer’s dance team continues to entertain Hillmen fans

Dance squad begins their fourth year performing


Story by Marlie Buckingham, Messenger Staff Editor

For the past three years, Placer fans have had the pleasure of watching their own dance team perform at rallies, halftime shows, and other school events.  

The team, which practices two days a week before school, is coached by Vanessa Compton who is also Placer’s attendance technician.

“My experience coaching at Placer has been great,” explained Compton.

Compton was approached four years ago to be the coach and advisor for the squad. Although Compton had no previous experience coaching a dance team, her daughter danced for 3 years.

“I understand the time and energy that goes into choreographing a routine and getting everyone’s timing precise,” expressed Compton.

This year is the dance team’s third year performing. The goal of this year’s dance squad is to perform at halftime for home football and basketball games, rallies, and Placer Palooza.

“My favorite thing about the team is getting to have a close bond with everyone and showing our support and spirit to the school,” said Schroeder.

“We enjoy getting hyped up by the crowd for doing something we love, dancing.”

— Sophia Schroeder

Additionally, the dance squad is preparing for a dance showcase that is taking place at the end of April 2024 and is open to the school to watch. The dance team does annual fundraisers and the school can support the team by participating or donating if possible.

“My favorite part of the dance squad is the response and encouragement from the students and faculty,” stated Compton.

The members of the dance squad all come from different dance backgrounds and bring individual skills to display.

“Watching it all come together is amazing,” Compton said.

Tryouts for the dance squad are held towards the end of May. Before tryouts, announcements are published in the school bulletin, feeder schools are also given tryouts information for the incoming students.

Rose Lease is a freshman at Placer, and it is her first year on the team. Lease has been dancing for a total of 11 years, nine of those at Pamelot Dance Studio.

“I would recommend it to students if you have some dance experience,” commented Lease.

“We encourage everyone to try out, you can have little to advanced experience,” said Compton.  “All are welcome, I’d love to see a few males join the squad.”

Ella Oddo, a junior at Placer has been dancing since she was about one and a half years old states, “I have loved creating bonds with the team members, and also being able to create new futures for the team.”

The 2023-24 dance team consists of seven members; Ella Oddo (11), Aaliyah Chatfield (11) Carolina Arellano (10), Julia Bezis (10), Sophia Schroeder (10), Violet Peak (10), Rose Lease (9).