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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Hard at Work for Homecoming

Warrior Pride and SunDancers Collaborate for Halftime Production
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  • Rehearsing with the band, SunDancers and Warrior Pride run their halftime production during morning rehearsals.

    Warrior Pride
  • Looking to the right, Annika Anumalla ’25 dances on the field alongside the SunDancers.

  • Lifting her leg, Aubrey Phu ’25 dances for the halftime show.

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Shining brightly in their crisp field uniforms and their bright smiles, Westwood’s famed varsity and JV dance teams clashed together last night in a spectacle of vibrant dance, school spirit, and electric team synergy. In preparation for their featured production piece at the Homecoming football game last night, both SunDancers and Warrior Pride worked hard to learn and perfect the dance, first independently and then together. For Warrior Pride, collaborating with the varsity dance team and being able to perform at a varsity football game not only provided a unique experience for dancers to cherish, but pushed Pride members to work their hardest to represent Westwood and the team with spirit and charm. 

Exhibiting their matched enthusiasm for dance, Warrior Pride and SunDancers poured their souls into their halftime show to create a display of entertainment for all who were present. However, what no one saw behind the scenes were the days and days of waking up in the early hours of the morning, staying late after school in the heat of Texan afternoons, and crowded locker rooms filled with shouts for missing shoes or clothing. Both teams put all their strength and stamina into this piece, working with diligence and fostering an environment of team bonding, even though faced with the challenge to learn, clean, and practice the production in  two weeks.

“During the SunDancer block, the SunDancers would learn their parts, and during the Warrior Pride block, the Pride girls would learn their part,” SunDancer Ella Popps ‘25 said. “Then we’d meet together at 6:45 AM out on the band pad and we’d put it all together.”

For one of Warrior Pride’s SunDancer Assistants, Sienna Pilon ‘24, seeing Pride’s journey learning the production piece from beginning to end has helped her understand the uniqueness of the team, and more importantly, the people on it. Pilon has only ever danced with SunDancers before, and to see Pride in action, complete with all their highs and lows of learning one of the most noteworthy pieces of the year has given her an insightful look into what the team stands for and how members approach challenges with a positive outlook. 

“It’s really rewarding to see how far [Pride] has come and also how hard they work,” Pilon said. “Seeing how Pride runs things and how they learn stuff so quickly and turn it around so fast is really impressive to me.”

Going through all the ups and downs of learning one of the paramount performances of the school year, this year’s halftime production has created stronger bonds between both teams. After learning independent parts full of gaps in formations and choreography, morning practices with both teams brought them closer together after fusing both parts together. By being given a glimpse into the works of the other team, both SunDancers and Warrior Pride gained newfound relationships and bonds with each other. 

 “Just getting to work with new people that we don’t always work with on the daily and getting to learn how the other environments work brought us closer,” Popps said. “Supporting each other through the whole thing, I feel like it also just brought all of us closer together.”

On the Warrior Pride side of things, many Pride members found themselves striving to challenge themselves in terms of energy, technique, and stamina after seeing the SunDancer’s elegant and active way of performing. One of the only performances both teams present together, Pride members worked hard to display uniformity in them and SunDancers by honing their sharpness behind each move and by channeling the spirit of the dance. 

“Working with SunDancers honestly pushed me to do better myself since they are so incredibly talented and it was so important to match the energy they had,” Pride member Shivali Sahu ‘26 said. “We practiced the production piece every block and  kept drilling the piece over and over along with running through it [multiple times] at home.”

After a fitting capstone of a performance to the journey that was the Homecoming halftime production, both SunDancers and Warrior Pride made memories that they’ll be sure to cherish. 

“I really love performing with Pride every year – there’s so many people on the field and I feel like it’s a really good bonding experience for both teams to meet and interact,” Pilon said. “All the girls on the team are so sweet, so genuine, so fun and energetic, and [just so] happy to dance.”

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About the Contributors
Aarya Kale, Reporter
Class of 2026 Hey! Besides being a passionate writer and photographer, I also happen to have a liking for all things cheese :) If I don’t happen to be eating some, I’m probably off reading a nice book or hanging out with my friends!
Ellen Chuo, Photo Editor
Class of 2024 This is my second year working on Student Press, and I'm so excited to be part of the team. When I'm not at school, I enjoy playing guitar, hanging out with friends, and sleeping. I love to bake, especially when I should be doing homework or studying for a test. I also love hiking, camping, and taking pictures of nature.

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