Ketchikan High School's K-Highlites dance team are set to take on a new year of performances, with a roster of both new and seasoned members.
Coached by Alma Parker and Christian Lorenzo, the team features 18 dancers from all grade levels at Kayhi. The team already has started practicing regularly with their full roster.
Parker spoke to the Daily News on Monday about her outlook on the team this year, an upcoming fall showcase, the season's theme and what the group is focusing on this season.
The tryouts in mid-September produced an 18-member team for the 2021-22 school year.
"Usually we have tryouts in the end of the school year, but this year we held it at the beginning of the school year, so I believe these 18 will stick it out," Parker said. "What happens if we do it at the end of the school year, we're allowed to have some preseason stuff go on, and then those who were on it in the summer realize it's too much time or it's harder than they think and they dwindle out by the start of the school year. So I think (these 19 team members), barring any other circumstances out of our control, will probably stick through the whole season."
According to a flyer on K-Highlites social media, freshmen members include Aspen Bauer, Iris Bondoc, Jalia Rodriquez and Myleigh Sambrano. Sophomores include Ariona Dowitt, Chelsea Willis, Dan Magno, Haleigh Bolton, Lilianica Jensen and Tristin Dalin. The three juniors on the team are Czarina Cabello, Melodie Grootonk and Theo Lorenzo. Senior team members this year are Avery Thomas, Emma Bowers, Genesis Scott, Katelyn Trugon and Nicole West.
"I think our freshman and senior class are pretty equitable, so as our seniors leave us, we also will have a growing freshman class," Parker said. "And then we also have quite a few first year members who are upperclassmen, so it's good to come in and see if this is something you really like to do. They have a bit more challenges when they are newer to the team as upperclassman, as far as just learning and their strengths and endurance. I think they will definitely accept the challenge and are working hard, so that's nice to see."
"Dance, It's Your Body Dreaming" is the theme for the 2021-22 K-Highlites season, according to Parker.
"So we do little things about dreaming and night and sleeping and all of that," Parker said. "Anything associated with dreams or nightmares."
The season schedule
The K-Highlites season generally begins in November, with a few “pre-season options” ahead of the official start.
The recent-years absence of a Kayhi football season in the late summer/early fall can limit the K-Highlites' pre-season performance options.
A showcase scheduled for Oct. 23 will be a chance for the whole team to take the stage before November.
“We've went ahead and started learning choreography early so that we can have a showcase here this month, called our fall showcase, instead of winter,” she said. “So they're going to showcase some of what they've taught some of the StudioMax kids at the Ketchikan Rec Center, and then we waited to also give an opportunity for our first-year members to have performance chains to just take the stage and get all the nerves out.”
Parker hopes that the K-Highlites will have a "more consistent performance schedule" this school year.
"I think the school district has been doing a really good job basing everything on risk levels and outlining what that looks like for participants and activities throughout the school district," she said. "So I foresee that we would have more of a consistent schedule on performing and just doing any kind of protocols that were mandated by the school district, and following those."
The K-Highlites might still face spectator limits at their shows, but Parker hopes that classic Kayhi events such as the Meet the Kings event and the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic will go on this year, offering the team a chance to perform as usual.