SunDancers Honor Seniors With Elegant Dinner

By Triambika Dinakaran, Reporter

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  • SunDancers Vivian Lang ’21 and Josie Herrin ’21 pose in front of the “Little Italy” themed backdrop. Photo Courtesy of Yu Su

    Photo By Yu Su

  • SunDancers line up to welcome the seniors to Senior Night. Photo Courtesy of Yu Su

    Photo By Yu Su

  • Senior managers Triambika Dinakaran ’21, Ankita Baradhwaj ’21, and Nisa Kini ’21 show their Senior Night gifts.

  • The SunDancers performed their pom routine to “Shake It Off” for the last time in the 2020-21 football season at the varsity football game against the Vandegrift Vipers. Photo Courtesy of Yu Su

    Photo By Xiaowei Lang

  • The SunDancers enjoyed their elegant meals at Senior Night.Photo Courtesy of Yu Su

    Photo By Yu Su

  • SunDancer parents came together to organize a scaled-down outdoor celebration for the seniors. Photo Courtesy of Yu Su

    Photo By Yu Su

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On Thursday, Nov. 5th, the SunDancers held their annual Senior Night, as a part of Senior Week festivities. Dancers arrived at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex to perform at the varsity football game against Vandegrift. They were met with an elegantly planned surprise during their pre-game dinner. 

The theme of the dinner was “Little Italy” and SunDancer parents pitched in to host a fancy dinner and celebrate the seniors on the team. Despite having to scale down the event due to the pandemic, the parents managed to put together a safe, fun dinner. Mrs. Kelly Larson, mother of Hannah Larson ‘21, enlisted a professional artist to create a beautifully sketched backdrop that set the ambience and theme perfectly for the evening. Nicely arranged tables with lamps complemented the backdrop, which featured a black sharpie-pen sketch of a quaint Italian road on a massive white sheet.

The seniors were met with cheers and applause by juniors, sophomores, and parents, as they walked into the dinner party. Dancers took turns taking photos with their parents and friends in front of the artwork. Italian sparkling drinks, food from Gino’s Italian restaurant, and dessert from Kelly’s Kitchen Creation was served to the dancers. Seniors also received t-shirts from fellow dance teammates on top of the several gifts they had received over the course of the week. 

“Even though this year has been difficult, I’m still having a blast as a SunDancer,” Major Josie Herrin ‘21 said. “Our team’s senior night made me feel so special and appreciated as someone who doesn’t get their full ‘senior experience.’ The “Little Italy” theme was so fun and I’m so thankful to have such amazing friends to dance with on SunDancers together.”

Juniors and sophomores also put together a video for the seniors to honor them. The team watched the video together on the following day during their morning rehearsal. SunDancers took turns sharing their love and admiration for the seniors through heartfelt messages.

“The seniors are such talented dancers and amazing role models and I know they are going to be so successful in the future. I am going to miss them so much next year, and I’m so glad that we had the chance to celebrate them, despite being in the midst of a pandemic,” Social Officer Catherine Zhang ‘22 said.

The event also marked the last time the team would perform their pom routine for this football season. Their pom performance to the song Shake It Off is one the girls have spent weeks perfecting. 

“Performing pom for the last time was really bittersweet. Pom is such a big part of SunDancers and we’ve spent so much time practicing the routines. I’m definitely going to miss it,” Social President Vivian Lang ‘21 said. 

Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the team has tried their best to bond through fun, continued traditions like mum-making, weekly SunDancer and Sunshine of the week awards, and dress-up days.

“I think the hardest part about [being a part of] SunDancers during the pandemic has been staying positive and motivated as a group, even though we know that a lot of the team experiences won’t be the same as usual. Dancing with masks is pretty tiring,” Lang said.

The SunDancers will continue to perform in the stands during varsity football games, and are currently preparing to hold virtual and live auditions from Monday, Nov. 30th through Thursday, Dec. 3rd to recruit new SunDancer rookies.

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