Closing a chapter: Reflecting on four years of dance


Billie Sprague

Kelly Colanto, a Fossil Ridge High School Dance Team member, enjoys her senior night at a home football game.

Kelly Colanto, Head Copy Editor

I vividly remember trying out for the Fossil Ridge High School Dance Team when I was in eighth grade. It was all very new to me and I was a jumble of nerves and excitement when I walked into the gym for the first time.

A senior stood up to talk to us, advising we enjoy as much of this journey as we can. I looked at her in disbelief, not possibly thinking it would go by as fast as it did. I sit here now, four years later, incredibly shocked that I only have three weeks left on this team.

With my transformation from being slightly shy to one of the most outgoing people in the bunch, I can say with full certainty that I will leave this school with the utmost amount of pride for what I accomplished in my dance career.

Even when we were sprinting in nearly one hundred degree heat, feeling like our bodies could not possibly push themselves more, we did. And after six-day weeks on end, we persevered and discovered new limits of ourselves.

Since my time on the team, we have become two-time Regional Champions, two-time League Runner-Ups, and made 5A Hip-Hop finals at the State Championships twice, breaking school history. From traveling across Colorado for competitions, and to Orlando, Florida for the Universal Dance Association (UDA) Nationals, we have grown together as one devoted family.

The 2021-2022 Fossil Ridge High School varsity Dance Team cherishes a sunrise during an early morning practice.

My three coaches, Billie Sprague, Tessa Lovell, and Sidney Harvey, took us from nothing to the very top. These women have proven to me what true dedication looks and feels like, consistently pushing us to be our absolute best.
Watching the previous four classes graduate and go on with their lives was always a heartbreaking moment in our team. Being a year-round varsity sport with very limited time off, we all naturally got along with one another, and saying goodbye was never easy.

As I see the new classes come in after me, I make it a point to tell them to slow down and enjoy their lives right now because it genuinely did flash before me in the blink of an eye.

At the last football game of the season, I stared into the audience at the Rocky Mountain High School stadium, French Field, in awe of what I had taken for granted for years on end. That last half of the game felt as if I was moving in slow motion; I never wanted to leave the sidelines.

I have gained lifelong friends from this team and seeing how we all impact each other is the reason I kept coming back each year. Each day, practice got harder and harder, but getting to spend time with my best friends made it all worthwhile.

I grew up as a part of this team and have watched it come from the ground up since my freshman year. I truly have no greater honor than this. I am indescribably proud of all we have accomplished in my short four years and simply cannot wait to see what the future of dance holds for this school.