This year, at Rock Island High School, a new dance team will be started and run by Shanley Resch. Mrs. Resch is a teacher at Rock Island High School, but has had a lot of dancing experience. “I’ve been dancing since I was three, and then I was on the dance team in high school and college at St. Ambrose,” she said.
With all of her experience, Mrs. Resch is more than capable of coaching a dance team.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to bring to the high school for those kids who like the arts, but aren’t interested in the classes we have here or just as an extracurricular.”
Mrs.Resch received a lot of help from Mrs. Lillis, the athletic director at Rocky, when she decided to form this dance team. Lillis advised her on how to set up and go about creating a new team, as well as help with locations for practices and future performances. The dance team will practice in the gym starting after fall break, and will be performing during the halftimes of basketball games.
Currently, Resch is leading the group by herself, but she hopes that as time passes, that it’ll become more student led. “This year, we have a very young team. There’s a lot of freshmen and sophomores, which is awesome because it gives us a lot to build on,” she stated.
Valerie Holland, a junior who’s a part of the dance team, agreed, saying that,”On the dance team, it doesn’t matter what grade you’re in. We all have fun dancing together.” Valerie has made friends through dance, and has even become friends with the freshmen on the team. “It’s really cool because I wouldn’t talk to freshmen otherwise,” Valerie said.
Despite not having as much dance experience as some of the other girls, she still feels welcomed. “You don’t have to be this professional dancer. Mrs. Resch just wants to know if you can listen and if you’re hardworking,” Valerie stated.
The team will be doing all types of dances throughout the season. It’ll be a mixture of dances, depending on the day and performance. Mrs. Resch says that they’ll do dances that are upbeat, such as jazz and hip-hop, and possibly more once the season starts.
A lot goes into forming a team. While having good dancers is what many people usually think of, one of the most important aspects of it is a good group dynamic and a good relationship between not only the members of the team, but with the coach, as well. “All of us really admire Mrs. Resch, as a teacher and as a dancer,” Valerie said. She continued on by stating, “She’s doing all of the dances with us, and you can tell she’s very experienced, and we all have a lot of respect for her.” Mrs. Resch also shared similar sentiments when she explained how excited she was to have the group of girls that she has, stating, “I feel the group of girls we have are nice girls ,and I’ve heard nothing but positive things about them.”
So far, plans seem to be headed in the right direction for the dance team. “I’m really hoping this is something that sticks around for as long as possible,” Mrs.Resch said. She hopes that it’ll continue for years to come, and hopefully, will expand beyond the school. “In the future, we’re hoping to start to compete for IHSA Dance.”
These goals may not be far away. So far, the team seems to be making the right moves.