Canyon Lake High School (CLHS) can proudly stake the claim of being the only high school in Texas to have a competitive, co-ed ballroom dance team. Yes, ballroom dance. It’s the real thing, since 2008, at CLHS. It’s not just a club. There are full-blown, ballroom dance classes on the school schedule. No, freshmen girls can’t waltz into high school and look to these classes for an easy grade. And for the boys, the class offers more than just a chance to hang out with pretty girls.
The ballroom team and it’s 24 members are passionate about what they do. Having two left feet won’t get you very far on this team. These dancers are fully committed to the effort and the experience. Like their counterparts on the football or basketball team, this team has to know its routine, practice it, and be ready when competition calls. Team members, many who also participate in competitive sports at CLHS, are athletes with rhythm, balance and the ability to lift others, or be lifted, with grace and precision.
“The unique thing about our team is that a lot of our dancers are boys,” says Kara Endsley, CLHS dance director. “They may take dance class as a freshman and that is the extent of their dance experience before taking the floor and competing. We go up against other teams that have girls who have been dancing since they were six years old.”
The ballroom team competes against other teams across the state who may specialize in country western, hip hop or other dances.
“It’s fun and the team is competitive and wants to do really well against other groups. A lot of groups come in with a lot more experience than us. So when we do well, it’s a testament to the team’s hard work, their passion for our program, and their passion for each other.”
Recently, the team did well, winning first place in both the Special Dance Company Division and the Contemporary, Open, and Novelty Dances at the American Dance and Drill Team competition in north Texas. The team also received a sportsmanship award for its support of other teams in the competition.