A local dance team recently received an early Christmas present when the group was invited to perform at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1.
Michelle Nicholson, the coach of the Dance Elite Team at the In Motion Dance Center on Country Club Road, announced in mid-November that the WorldStrides organization had invited her team to perform at the Sugar Bowl. WorldStrides is an educational travel company, which is inviting elite dance, cheer and drill teams to the Sugar Bowl through its OnStage program.
“We were thrilled,” said Nicholson, who has been coaching the team 20 years. “My girls are anxiously nervous, but they are well-trained and excited.”
Seventeen members of the team are scheduled to fly from Charlotte to New Orleans on Dec. 29 for three days of rehearsals before their final practice at 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day in the Superdome, Nicholson said.
The team then will join nearly 400 dancers from 23 groups across the country to perform at halftime of the football game between Oklahoma State and Mississippi, she said.
The dancers will participate in a nine-minute performance in the Superdome in front of about 75,000 fans and a national television audience, Nicholson said. Choreographer Cris Judd will work with the dancers in New Orleans.
This is the second time in three years that the Dance Elite Team will perform in a Jan. 1 bowl game. The team performed at the Orange Bowl in Miami in 2013, Nicholson said.
In New Orleans, the In Motion dancers will perform to a rendition of swing music, she said.
“It is a real jazzy tune,” she said.
The members of the Dance Elite Team are girls in the ninth through 12 grades who attend public and private high schools in Forsyth County, Nicholson said.
Three members who attend Mount Tabor High School said they were excited when they learned that their team was selected to perform at the Sugar Bowl.
“I’ve never danced in front of that many people before,” said Gina Dissosay, a 15-year-old sophomore. “I’m excited to go some place where I’ve never been before.”
Emily Almerini, a 16-year-old junior, said she is looking forward to visiting New Orleans.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said.
Meghan Currin, a 15-year-old sophomore, said she is confident that she and her team members will deliver an energetic performance.
“Watch for us on the TV screen,” she said.