“It’s crazy, I would have never thought this would happen,” said Bellis. “I’ve just been making the best out of it.”
The team would normally raise tens of thousands of dollars from the discount cards, which offer varying deals and special rates at dozens of businesses and restaurants across the North Metro community. Senior Captain Eve Caturia said the team raised $22,000 from the sales in 2019 alone.
“This is our main fundraiser for our entire season,” said Caturia. “It pays a lot for our costumes, our Hudl usage–which allows us to record and watch ourselves–our state fees, our studio fees, our section and state banquet, our senior and alumni night, and our bonding events.”
But the COVID-19 pandemic and school shutdown mean the team can not practice with all fifty participants together. Instead, they can only practice in “pods” of ten dancers each, and most of those are broken down by age groups.
“If it was just like any other season, we would be bonding, we would be going out and doing things together but we couldn’t this year,” said Senior Captain Alayna Ferguson. “I don’t know when we can, but it’s just tough only dancing with people in your pod and not dancing with everyone together.”
Ferguson said she isn’t able to learn the names or faces of the younger dancers right now, and that’s hard as the season–whatever it may look like–approaches.
But groups, clubs, and teams like the Centennial Dance Team now have to fundraise online instead of face-to-face and door-to-door as they normally do.
“Usually it’s nice to communicate with the neighbors or the neighborhoods, but also before we go out we eat together and afterward we get ice cream treats, so it’s just a huge thing we usually do,” said Bellis. “It’s a team bonding thing with fundraising.”
And the team members are also worried about the ability to raise money and the impact that could have on whatever season they have ahead.
“Without this fundraiser we don’t have costumes to dance in, so it will be interesting to see how this changes things moving forward, if it will change at all,” said Caturia. “I’m sure we will reach some goal and manage it but it will be interesting to see how we move forward.”