Karen Torres, Amanda Wilson and Makinzie Bretches of the Moffat County High School dance team practice in the second-floor common area Thursday evening.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Karen Torres, Amanda Wilson and Makinzie Bretches of the Moffat County High School dance team practice in the second-floor common area Thursday evening.

... and we can dance

Bulldogs dance team out to make a statement, and have fun doing it

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Karen Torres, Amanda Wilson and Makinzie Bretches of the Moffat County High School dance team practice in the second-floor common area Thursday evening.

— Guess the sport.

They start with stretching.

It's not football.

Next are push-ups.

It's not basketball, either.

Running is third.

Cross-country?

Nope.

They wave pom-poms above their heads.

Oh, it must be cheerleading then.

Nada.

Don't be ashamed, sports fans, if you draw blanks.

The smallest Moffat County High School sports team is here to broaden your sports knowledge.

Introducing ... the Bulldog dance team.

The six-member squad goes through workouts and practices like all other Moffat County athletic teams, with one small difference.

They work 30 hours in a two-week period to have the chance to perform for less than 10 minutes. They display their skills for a couple of minutes before a home football game and a couple of minutes during halftime.

Why work so hard?

"They have fun," dance team coach Angie Jenkins said. "They all love to dance and want to be good at what they do. You only get better by working hard. It's just the same as in every other sport."

Jenkins is in her second year as head coach after spending the previous two years as an assistant.

"I love it," she said. "My daughters were Wildcats (an all-star traveling dance team) that I used to help out with. The spot opened up for a coach, and I jumped at the opportunity."

Jenkins took her team to a camp this summer at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where the team picked up new dance routines and perfected its tricks of the trade.

"We have the smallest team since I've been here," she said. "I think that helps us because the girls are closer together than in previous years."

The team went through two-a-days the week before the season began. It was the same regimen as the bigger, more recognized Bulldog athletic programs.

"We work really hard together," four-year dance team member and team captain Amanda Wilson said. "We are out to make a statement."

The Bulldogs dancers will soon get their opportunity.

December marks the beginning of the state tournament, with regionals two weeks before.

The dancers practice moves with names such as the pirouette, the high kick, the toe touch and the jumping turn.

"They all contribute to dance routines," Jenkins said. "Did I mention the Vegas-style line dance?"

Like other sports, the dancers have their game-night rituals, as well.

"We pick a house to meet at," Wilson said. "We eat pizza, we bond together and we do each others' hair and make-up."

Hair? Make-up?

Okay, maybe it's not exactly like the other sports.

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