Every year, the varsity Lancer Dancers take the stage at their Spring Showcase accompanied by “Mancer Dancers.” Drill team members ask the boys to be their partners, then choreograph and rehearse a group number during the weeks leading up to the show.
Lancer Dancers have been performing with their male partners at the spring show for the last five years. The Lancer Dancers were inspired to begin the tradition after seeing schools in other districts put on shows that included co-ed numbers.
According to Drill Team coach Alexis Close, Mancer Dancers are a great way to increase the audience for the show because any chance to involve more students attracts more audience members. The number usually begins the second half of the show after intermission, a great way to engage the audience after a break.
“I think it’s really fun to watch someone go for it and have a good time, occasionally poke fun at themselves,” Close said. “You can tell that they’re having a good time and the girls are having a good time.”
For many of the boys, this is their first experience ever having to move to music. Having only three 30-minute rehearsals before taking the stage can be challenging for a trained dancer, says Close. The boys manage to make the most out of their time and are always named as a crowd-favorite, says drill team captain Bea Workman.
The ladies usually pick an outgoing guy as their Mancer Dancer partners, one who’s up for anything, whether that means taking a step to touch their feet together or helping their partner do a backflip.
No matter their level of talent, every boy is pumped for the show after the time and energy they invest into making it great, says Close.
According to senior Drill Team captain Emily Meiring, the dance isn’t meant to be difficult. This year’s team of Mancer Dancers has learned the dance swiftly, whereas some previous groups have needed choreography adjusted to their ability.
Whether the boys have dance experience or not, the rehearsal process is always enjoyable for the Lancer Dancers. According to Close, the girls are especially giggly and talkative after a morning rehearsal with the boys. The Mancer Dancer number relieves some of the stress of the opening number and senior solos for the girls.
“[The boys] get so excited about every little thing that we do,” Meiring said. “[The boys] add their own little pizzazz to it.”
But for some of the boys, waking up early for the 7 am practice was brutal. Senior Will Kost, drill team captain Bea Workman’s partner, barely woke up in time to make it.
Workman said she chose Kost because of his killer dance moves. According to Workman, it’s entertaining to teach the boys choreography because of their reactions. When they can’t get a move, like a rhythmic step called the pony, they get frustrated. But the moment they figure it out, there are chest bumps all around the room.
“One of the guys was really shocked because [the dance] was actually swaggy hip hop,” Workman said.
Kost has developed a newfound respect for the Lancer Dancers after seeing how hard and fast they must work to learn and perfect their dances. Although he’s a bit nervous to perform in front of a crowd, doing something out of his comfort zone has been exciting.
“We are all just bunch of dudes trying to act like we can dance,” Kost said.