The K-Highlites dance team is ready to bring fresh moves to a new season of dance.
On Wednesday evening, the K-Highlites' "Holiday Give Back Winter Wonder Dance" will shine a spotlight on the routines that the Ketchikan High School dance team has been focusing on this season.
The 17-member dance team is coached by Alma Parker and Christian Lorenzo.
Dancers in leadership roles on the team include Nena Jones (team captain), Olivia Berg (co-captain), Jhenna Day (first lieutenant), Avery Thomas (second lieutenant) and Emma Bowers (squad leader).
Parker, who spoke with the Daily News telephonically on Monday, said the event is a chance to "get the cold feet off of our first-year members," while allowing senior members to experience the regular winter performance they have come to anticipate during their time on the team.
"We're going to basically show what we've been working on all summer and really focusing on in the fall," Parker explained. "It really just gives an opportunity to have a performance in December for the team, considering we always had (the) Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic to look forward to at the end of this month."
She added, "It doesn't matter if we have basketball or not, we're going to perform for our community and not just concentrate on making it a sport-affiliated performance, and more of a community collaboration and just trying to find opportunities to perform."
Among the routines slated for the event are hip-hop, jazz and pom (pom-pom) dance numbers.
According to Parker, there also will be a pre-game routine — "Prior to any sport activity, we wanted to do a little 'pep up the crowd' type dance routine," Parker noted.
The choreography for the routines has been modified to maintain social distance. Things like partnered dances or lifts have been nixed from most routines to minimize contact between dancers.
"A lot of it is more individualized," Parker said. "There's moments where you really are in close contact, but we limit that and then we spread out quickly."
The dancers will wear scarves and gloves — a wintery way of donning personal protective equipment.
"We're just making it really more clever in our presentation to the public," Parker said.
The K-Highlites also are using more physical space this year.
"We choreography knowing that we're going to take more of the floor this year," Parker commented, noting that the team fills up most of Kayhi's basketball court.
The team has been using other mitigation measures during practices, including using separate entrances, undergoing health screenings and wearing masks when not actively dancing.
"It does look different," Parker said. "It does feel different, obviously."
For the dancers, Parker said they miss the regular season but have been eager to take the floor.
"Youths are always so resilient," she said. "You can tell it impacts them, but they kind of just go with the flow. Us adults, we really just want to ease the burden on them and we just find ways to keep a positive outlook."
Since the start of the dance season, the Community Risk Level has fluctuated between Level 2 (Moderate) and Level 3 (High), which in turn has caused changes in the school-specific mitigation measures.
In response, Parker recalled that throughout the season, practices have been canceled for an entire week. Other times, only half the dancers are allowed in the gym in order to keep capacity low.
Parker also recognized the changes that the modified season has brought to the routines of senior class dancers.
"They (the dancers) are just taking it as it is," Parker said. "They know that everything since the beginning of their senior year has changed, from their traditional senior walk-ins to their Fourth of July parade. I mean, ever since summer, these senior class students have been so resilient and trying to make the best of the situation."
Parker noted that audience members are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the event as an admission price.
The donations will go to the Kayhi student food pantry.
The Holiday Give Back Winter Wonder Dance will open at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Kayhi auditorium.
Attendance is capped at 50% capacity, and all attendees will be screened at the door. Masks are mandatory for audience members. Families will be seated together, distanced six feet apart from other groups or individuals.