Pride of the Tide look to build off first performance

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 30, 2019

The dancers were all smiles as they gracefully drifted between the band members and color guard who also shared the field during the show.

The Pride of the Tide’s first performance was at the Meet the Tide event on Aug. 22, and the group worked alongside the band and color guard in a wide-ranging exhibition.

“I thought the girls did really well for the first performance overall,” Director Shanna Kirkland said.

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“They came together and had a great night.”

Since that performance, the dancers have been hard at work perfecting their routines for the first home football game of the season.

Not only are they preparing for the halftime show that will take place during this week’s game, but they’re also getting ready for competitions.

“We’ve got some fine tuning to do to prepare for contests,” Kirkland said.

“We strive for perfection, we’re striving for perfect technique with everybody.”

While perfection may not be possible, Kirkland said that her senior dancers do a good job of making sure everybody is on the same page.

The squad has three senior captains in Ashanti Bullock, Cara Davis and Lakendra Gray.

Kirkland said the captains team up with senior dancers Morgan Dickerson, Kailee Spiers and Hanah Walley to help perfect the routines.

The squad also has three senior managers in Kimmesha Davis, Ohajah Thompson and Mkenzie Smith who are also integral to the unit’s success.

“We couldn’t do the show without them,” Kirkland said.

“We have a lot of props, and they help make sure that our props fit the theme of the show.”

Props are an important piece of the performance, but Kirkland said that in order for the performances to improve the team must do a better job of dancing as a group.

“That comes with time and a lot of practice,” Kirkland said.

“We work on the dances individually and point out the flaws and good points.”

Now that the dancers have that first performance under their belts, they can use that experience to calmly take the field during this week’s halftime show, Kirkland said.

Repetition and practice are key for the group’s success because once they have the routines mastered it becomes muscle memory for the dancers. “It’s something we strive for because then your body will know what to do even if your mind messes up,” Kirkland said. Kirkland has high expectations for the dancers, and she’s hoping to see some progress Friday night when they perform.

“We’ve just been working on placement, spacing and intervals,” Kirkland said.

“But I am super proud of the work they’ve done. We’re striving for a better performance, and expecting improvement.”