HINGHAM — The Hingham High School dance team is getting ready for prime time. For the third time in five years, the team is heading south to perform at one of the top college football bowl games. On Jan. 3, 32 team members – including one boy – will be part of the halftime spectacular at the Discover Orange Bowl in Miami.
“The Orange Bowl is the pinnacle of success for high school dancers,” said Hingham High Assistant Principal Jennifer Henriksen, who is coordinating the trip. “It’s the largest. It’s on national television in prime time.”
This will be the team’s second trip to the Orange Bowl; the last was in 2010. In 2012, the team went to the Champs Bowl in Orlando.
There won’t be much time for sightseeing or sunbathing on the beach during the four-day trip.
“They are dancing from 7 in the morning until 10 at night,” Henriksen said.
Team members are looking forward to the trip.
“It’s really exciting,” said senior Meghan Beals, a team co-captian.
Beals was part of the team that went to Orlando in 2012.
“It was a real bonding experience,” she said. “Everyone got a lot closer.”
Junior Allie Bieling said the upcoming trip will be “another awesome experience.”
Henriksen said team members will have an opportunity to work with top choreographers and will learn about different types of dance. They also will get a chance to meet with other high school students from around the country.
“A number of our students have used this experience in their college-application process,” Henriksen said. “It’s a unique experience, and it sets them apart from others.”
Henriksen’s daughter Emma is a member of the team, and her daughter Ashley went on the first Orange Bowl trip. She said it was a memorable experience for Ashley and her teammates.
“They remember the routine, and when they get together, they’ll dance the routine,” she said.
She said the team was invited to be in the halftime show by WorldStrides Heritage Performance programs, which puts together shows at several bowl games.
Henriksen said the dance team was formed nine years ago and has become an increasingly popular activity – so popular that the school no longer has cheerleaders.
“Many of these girls started dancing in the Hingham Community Center when they were 3 years old,” she said.
The community center’s dance teacher, Jennifer Feeney, is also the coach of the dance team.
In addition to performing at two competitions a year, the dance team can be seen at Hingham High football and basketball games and other student events.
The team has been raising money to defray some of the expenses of the trip through raffles and car washes. Members are also selling Hingham headbands and tote bags around town.
To learn more about the team’s fundraising efforts, email Noelle Russell at Noelle.firstname.lastname@example.org.