Belles sparkle at competition


Photo provided by Cindi Denman

Senior Bella Mansfield performs her solo at her last high school competition. She hopes to continue dance in college.

Smruthi Garlapati and Amy Park

Varsity and Junior Varsity Belles placed first in Jazz, Novelty and Pom on Feb. 12 at the HISD Marching Auxiliaries of America Waltrip Competition and Feb. 19 at the Showtime District Competition.

The team is now preparing for its May 6 Spring Show.

Junior Varsity Belles perform a Novelty routine relating to the Belles theme: “Sweet Dreams!” (Photo provided by Cindi Denman)

Senior and Colonel Bella Mansfield performed her last solo and team dances as a Belle at the competitions, making Spring Show her last high school performance.

“I really enjoyed getting to spend time with the team,” Mansfield said. “Whether we were dancing or not, spending time with everyone is always super fun and I love how supportive everyone is of each other.”

Placing third at the MA Waltrip Competition and first in Showtime, Mansfield also received a college scholarship for her first place win at the competition and plans to continue dancing after high school.

“I was honestly kind of surprised that I received the scholarship, but I felt so thankful,” Mansfield said. “It was a really great way to end my last season competing with a solo, and I definitely want to find a way to keep dancing in college. I haven’t tried out yet, but I hope to be on the Aggie Dance Team or possibly a part of a dance club.”

Varsity Belles perform their Novelty routine with numerous props including scarves and ladders. This dance won them first place in their division. (Photo provided by Cindi Denman)

For dancers like sophomore Valerie Perez, this was their first high school competition with Belles. Perez competed with the junior varsity team and a solo, placing fourth in the junior category at the MA Waltrip Competition.

“There’s always nerves and excitement before my solo, but at this point in my life, I’ve trained myself to think excited over nervous,” Perez said. “I was confident before going on stage and thrilled while I was dancing. I definitely think I did really well, and I love to admit that I’ve grown so much since the beginning of this season.”

Belles practiced from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday to Thursday to prepare for competition, dancing in the Main Street hallway and occasionally using the practice gyms on the second floor. Secretary and junior Samantha Wexler recalls how it felt finally performing with the team in February.

“The team performances were really fun; I missed going on stage with my team and I really like our dances this year,” Wexler said. “My favorite part of the competition was hanging out with my friends for way too many hours. Overall, I think the Belles were amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better team to compete and win with.”