Troy Cheer

Troy Buchanan’s dance team was cut in half due to the novel coronavirus, but still expects to be competitive in the 2020-2021 season due to new dance routines.

COVID-19 has infected nearly every walk of life around the country.

Troy Buchanan’s dance team has felt the impact of the virus just as much as any unit. However, Carly Diel’s team has weathered the storm, even though it’s fielding only half as many girls.

The 2020-2021 version of the team has no seniors on the roster, and Diel admitted this is a rebuilding year.

“Last year’s team was very strong because we had a lot of kids returning,” said Diel,, who is entering her second year as coach of the dance squad. “Out of a team of 15 last year, we had seven returning.

“This year, we only have eight – and four returning from last year.”

One good thing coming out of rebuilding years, according to Diel, is leaders start emerging from the pack. However, they have to lead on – and off – the floor

“We’ve had our underclassmen step up so far,” Diel said. “They can’t lead by example if they can’t be the example, however

One of those underclassmen is sophomore Madelyn Despain, who said the team could use its smaller size to its advantage, especially against the bigger teams from St. Charles County.

“We’re really different from the larger schools, but I think it plays to our advantage because we can focus more individually on each dance move than the larger teams,” Despain said. “We get to bond more because we’re smaller, so I think we’ll work better as a team.”

Despain also said the team will be adding new styles of dance in the upcoming season, including hip-hop numbers, in addition to its normal jazz dances.

“I’m super-excited, because we’re doing more than we’re usually doing,” she said. “Our coaches are pushing us to be better and stronger dancers.”

Along with competing against other schools, Troy’s dance unit also wants to boost the school’s morale in the process.

“We’re trying to increase school spirit, and that’s why we’re including numbers in what’s called the ‘gameday’ category,” Diel said.