Bearden dance embraces pressure of the program’s high standard, wins third straight national title


The Bearden dance team always does one final dress rehearsal in the gym before heading to nationals.

Bearden’s dance team took home its third consecutive national title earlier this month.

This accomplishment is no small feat, but the team has built such a successful program that winning has become the expectation. The team is full of athletes who have put in the hard work this season to reach their goals. Junior Eli Keziah, who has been on the team for two years, said that as a team, they reached their goal of increasing their confidence this year.

“Confidence is the key to success on the Bearden dance team,” Keziah said. “You’re not going to get anywhere without thinking that you’re the best.”

Keziah was also on the team last year, so he understands the pressure of being a returning champion. The team handles this pressure with the support from each other and the many talented alumni who help the program. 

The team’s support system and closeness allow them to reach excellence. Abigail Abrams, a junior in her third year on Bearden’s team, said that part of their success is due to the alumni support. 

“Many alumni come to support us,” Abrams said. “We are so lucky to have them and be able to live up to the legacy.”

The parents, coaches, alumni, and community help motivate these athletes every year. Abrams added that the many leaders on the team try to motivate each other. 

“I try to keep myself and others motivated to push us to achieve our goals,” she said.

The team also prioritizes great communication. Abrams’s experiences on the team have taught her how to balance school with her other activities, and she said she has also grown individually in her communication skills.

“This role has helped me become more of a hard worker and be able to communicate with different types of people,” she said.

Senior Julie Horn has also grown in her communication skills and leadership role throughout her time on Bearden’s Dance Team.

“This team has taught communication and leadership so differently than other things have in my life,” she said. 

Horn has been on the team for four years. She finds that her relationships with her teammates are what makes the team so successful. These relationships help further the team because they support each other and push themselves to be better.

“We all have such a trust in each other, and that helps us to do such great things,” she said. “We know how tough it is to be on top and being able to strive to be better everyday helps to push ourselves as dancers and people.”

Horn has been a part of each of the past three national championships, so she encouraged and motivated her teammates to maintain the standard the program has set.

Bearden’s dance team is a rigorous program. Their tryouts are in March, the season ends in February, and they compete at state and national levels.

Keziah, who dances at a studio as well as for Bearden, finds that it is a completely different environment on Bearden’s team. 

“There is more pressure on Bearden, just because it’s a big legacy we have to uphold,” he said.

Abrams has found that winning in previous years creates more of an expectation for success.

“Winning game day last year definitely put more pressure on us to top our performance from before because we were our biggest competition,” she said. “We all just wanted to live up to our hard work and show that we are the Dawgs.”