Athlete Feature: Katelyn Smith

Katelyn Smith tells of all the handwork, consistency, and love she has given to both the CCHS Dance Team and her own studio.


Sophia Bruce

I recently interviewed Junior Katelyn Smith, who is a member on the Capital City High School Dance Team. Katie and I talked about how long she has been dancing, what it takes to give dance your all, her opinions on when dancers around school aren’t regarded as athletes, and what a practice is like in the dancing shoes of a Dance Team member.

Sophia: So when did you first start dance?

Katie: I first started dancing when I was 3, so 13 years ago.


Sophia: So you dance at school, but do you also dance at a private studio as well?

Katie: Yes, I dance downtown at the studio Dancer’s Alley.


Sophia: What are your favorite genre/styles of dance to?

Katie: I really enjoy ballet, honestly I take as much as I can of what I really like. So for example, I take ballet, jazz and contemporary. I really love a peppy jazz, maybe a little flirty jazz.


Sophia: What would you consider an essential in your dance bag?

Katie: Jet Glue, it’s a instant drying glue kind of like a bonding glue, and you put it on your point shoes so if they’re dead they aren’t as dead as they once were. I mean it burns you if it gets on your skin, but you can use that glue for anything.


Sophia: What is your go- to after dance snack?

Katie: Haha, I eat a breath mint. Jk. Something that really slaps after a hard dance practice. Specifically after a hard ballet class, going and seeing my friend Olivia at Sonic and getting a peanut butter and Oreo shake.


Sophia: How many hours a week do you spend at dance between your private studio and the CCHS Dance Team?

Katie: On an average week, I dance 10 hours and 30 minutes. That’s not including if it is a nutcracker year or I’m doing a dance with the symphonic orchestra. My private studio every 2 years puts on a huge production of the Nutcracker. Years that we don’t have the Nutcracker we do a symphonic performance, where we dance in front of a live orchestra.


Sophia: Obviously, dance takes a lot of time and dedication. How do you feel when dance isn’t considered to be lumped in with all the other athletics, or is considered by other student athletes that dance isn’t a sport and shouldn’t be taken seriously?

Katie: I kind of think this isn’t a huge problem anymore, I think cheer gets most of the brunt of “you aren’t a sport.” But I think its stupid and people aren’t educated on how much dedication and hard work is involved. I don’t think other people realize I dance 10 hours a week, and I probably average more hours spent at a practice than some of the other athletes that claim that what I’m doing isn’t hard or real.


Sophia:  Give us a rundown of what an average CCHS Dance Team practice looks like.

Katie: We first warm up, even if it’s a few songs to stretch out to or a dynamic/conditioning warm up, then we might go over sidelines, and then we practice our routine that we do at half time.


Sophia: What are your favorite events to preform at with the Dance Team?

Katie: Probably basketball games, because that’s when students like to get most in to the game and hyped.


Sophia: Do you prefer  football season or basketball season and why?

Katie: I think I like both equally, just for different reasons. For example, facials aren’t as important when we preform at football games because we are so far away from the crowd, that and the parents are really nice. But basketball games are also really really fun, because we are closer to the student section and it’s super hype.


Sophia: What is one of your most favorite memories between you and your teammates on dance team?

Katie: I really liked working our clinic with the girls. We hosted a clinic to show littler girls some of our dance routines, and they get to preform at a basketball game. I really liked interacting with the younger generation of dancers, and we had a great time as a team.


Sophia: What would you recommend working on before trying out for the CCHS Dance Team if other dancers at CCHS are interested?

Katie: I would really recommend at least a jazz class that is weekly, and a jazz class can always help you. I also recommend at least having a triple turn or a solid double turn, and a kick above 90 degrees.

Katie has been on the dance team for 2 years in total, and she has worked extremely hard to be a leader on the team, off and on the court and field. Katie is excited for more upcoming basketball games, and she is ready to show the audience what it means to be an ‘As One’ dance team member.