Lincoln’s dance and cheer teams return to practicing-in-person


Sydney Huard

Dance team returns to Lincoln’s gym after being away for nearly a year due to COVID.

The Lincoln High School dance and cheer teams returned to in-person practice on Mar. 15 with the Oregon Health Association’s (OHA) guidance for fitness-related activities in place.

Mid-March is normally when the dance team would compete at the state competition, which they will be unable to do this year. 

“During normal years we practice for two and a half seasons. We start practices in the summer–conditioning and stuff– and then we start [actual] practices when the school year starts,” says senior Sydney Huard, who is a part of the dance team. 

The cheer team has also returned to in-person practice. 

“All of our practices were online, [but the week of Mar. 14th] we started going in-person because we got the notice that we were allowed to,” says sophomore Taylor Levow. “[So far,] we’ve had two in-person practices and we’ve been to one football game and one soccer game.” 

Spending so much time on virtual practices was hard for athletes. 

“Traditionally, the dance team is a large commitment that has a lot of expectations and becomes a significant part of your life, but now it feels so disconnected from that,” says junior Addison Taylor, who has been on the dance team since freshman year. 

Huard agrees.

“Dance is definitely something you can’t really do online,” she said. “You have to be there with your team to learn choreography. No one has space in their room to dance. You can’t really do a full on routine in your room.”

Virtual cheer practices were also difficult because of the team safety concerns. 

“Doing a lot of the main parts of cheer like tumbling and stunting while we are online was something we obviously had a hard time doing,” says Levow. “We couldn’t do any tumbling with our coaches spotting us, so we couldn’t learn any new things like back handsprings.”

Though the return to in-person practices includes adaptations to safety regulations which limits the variety of routines, the teams have stayed positive and are excited about being with their teams again. 

“[It’s really helped my] physical and mental health,” sophomore cheerleader Phoebe Yang says. “Sometimes it’s really hard to get motivated if you’re all alone at home, but if you’re actually part of sport and the coaches are watching you online or in person, then you’ll be motivated to work that harder.”