BSM Dance Team Adapts to Masked Performances


Ellie Shideman

The Knightettes rehearse their routine on their first day back at practice after dancing virtually for a month.

Lily Butner, Staff Writer

The return of winter sports after the pause excites the BSM Dance Team. However, performing and competing in a mask poses an obstacle unlike anything else the team has seen before. 

A big part of the dance team is performance. Dancers use their faces to show emotions and portray a story, while also keeping the audience engaged making the dance fun to watch. Jazz routines show passion and power, and kick routines use over-the-top facial expressions to create an energetic dance. But due to Covid-19 restrictions, dancers have to compete in a mask. Covering up their nose and mouth obstructs the dancers’ facial expressions, which creates new challenges that the Knightettes aren’t used to. To combat this, the team has discussed performing with their eyes, since the dancers’ eyes will be the only part of their face visible over the mask. “I think that trying to show emotion with our eyes is going to be hard, but that’s what we have to do,” junior captain Emily Zagaros said. 

Dancing with masks isn’t the only new challenge that the Knightettes faced this season. Because of the winter sports pause, the team resorted to learning their routines virtually over Zoom. Dancers were crammed in small spaces with hardly any room to move, all while facing technology issues like Wifi speed and screens glitching. Because of this, many dancers struggled to learn the choreography, which set back the team. “Everyone knows the dance, but we all learned it at our houses over Zoom, so [the dance] is a little different. I think the biggest thing this year is going to be cleaning [the routine], and making sure we’re all going the right direction,” Zagaros said. 

The lack of contact between dancers makes it difficult to bond and create cohesion throughout the team, which makes for a year very different from others. For returning team members, the amount of differences from past years makes this season difficult to adapt to, but for new team members, it’s even harder. The new Knightettes are facing a year with many restrictions on top of getting used to a brand new team. “It’s definitely not the year I was expecting, but everyone is working really hard to make this a somewhat normal year, and I am having the time of my life,” freshman rookie Hannah Blackwood said. 

Despite the many new changes, the team is working extremely hard to bond with each other as much as possible. Dance team “sisters” are long-standing traditions; younger dancers are paired up with older dancers to have a mentor and friend to help guide them through the season. Along with sisters, the Knightettes are working on bonding together overall, since spectators are not allowed at competitions as of right now. “I think at competitions we will bond because there’s literally no one else to dance for but each other,” Zagaros said. 

Though the season looks drastically different from past years, the Knightettes are nothing but grateful to have a season. “We’re just happy to be back together,” Zagaros said.