Fort Mill Times

Dancers step it up at choreography boot camp

Indian Land dance team members were flying high while learning a new routine.
Indian Land dance team members were flying high while learning a new routine. Fort Mill Times

The Indian Land High School dance team is gearing up for an event-filled year.

The team, now in its third season, will compete at the Fort Mill High School Invitational in October and the Universal Dance Association’s Carolina Dance Championships in Greensboro, N.C., in November.

Indian Land’s dancers also participated in an Aug. 20 choreography boot camp held at ILHS with members of the award-winning Valdosta State University Red Hots dance team.

With eight freshmen, Indian Land’s team is young and still working to establish itself locally, head coach Laurel Kaufman said.

“It’s probably one of the newest dance teams in the Fort Mill-Indian Land area,” Kaufman said. “We’ve been trying to build a dance team community in Indian Land…we’re starting to get the beginnings of a dance and art culture.”

The team performs during half-time at all home football and basketball games and pep rallies, and will perform at a number of special performances, including a bonfire night and a Pink Out volleyball game.

The dancers also recently participated in a UDA camp at Wake Forest University. Kaufman said the camp gave the girls the opportunity to bond as a team and learn to work under pressure. The dancers learned six routines in just a few days.

“(Camp) is no joke. They work very hard for those three and a half days at Wake Forest,” Kaufman said. “It’s good exposure for them if they do want to dance in college or professionally.”

The dancers raised money for camp by partnering with Bloom fundraising to sell discount cards to socially-conscious online retailers. It’s a first-of-its-kind fundraiser in the area, said Bloom Brand Director Tara Romanella.

The businesses featured were “a little more higher-end, boutique-type companies that try to run their businesses responsibly,” Kaufman said. There are a limited number of discount cards available for purchase.

The team will also be raising money working concessions at an upcoming Carolina Panthers football game in Charlotte, to help fund uniform costs.

“The girls on this team, they’re a really good bunch,” Kaufman said. “They’re good students, good people, they work really hard.”

Kaufman is a volunteer coach and a former San Diego Chargers cheerleader. Born and raised in California, she works in the medical device marketing industry and was looking for a way to get back into the dance world when she stumbled upon the opportunity with the ILHS team.

“I’m pretty proud of the progress we’ve made in three years,” Kaufman said.

For more info or to purchase a discount card contact Laurel Kaufman at lskaufman76@gmail.com.

Kelly Lessard: kellyrlessard@gmail.com, @KellyLessardFMT

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