Gateway: Living

Gig Harbor’s H2Whoa dance team poised to thrill at final performance of year

Posing for a pre-rehearsal group shot are, front, H2Whoa team captains, all sophomores: Grace Dullum, Mayieteh Kimball and Lizzie Mercurio and, back, teammates sophomore Heather Dobbins, freshman Elaina Swanson, sophomore Leela Peterson, junior Shawna Swanson, senior Jenna Walker and sophomore Michelle Lee.
Posing for a pre-rehearsal group shot are, front, H2Whoa team captains, all sophomores: Grace Dullum, Mayieteh Kimball and Lizzie Mercurio and, back, teammates sophomore Heather Dobbins, freshman Elaina Swanson, sophomore Leela Peterson, junior Shawna Swanson, senior Jenna Walker and sophomore Michelle Lee. Special to the Gateway

Gig Harbor High’s enthusiastic H2Whoa varsity dance team will join other dance groups Friday (May 27) at the school’s auditorium for the team’s 12th annual End of the Year show.

Cost is $10 for general admission, $8 with an ASB card and free to children 5 and younger.

“It’s to perform and show everyone all of our hard work throughout the year,” declared co-captain Grace Dullum, a sophomore.

Other teams participating include Freedom Dance Center of Tacoma, The Bosses of Tacoma, Gig Harbor’s Harbor Dance and Performance Center, the GHHS cheer team, and live vocalist Maddy Dullum of Gig Harbor, who will sing some of her self-written music.

The Tom Taylor YMCA of Gig Harbor will also stage performances.

For H2Whoa’s coach, Wendy Seese, “it is an honor to work with and watch the development and progress of the individuals on this team. Relationships formed are not short-lived; they last for years. I still have members who were on the team seven years ago stop by to visit ‘their’ team. It’s gratifying to be part of something that improves the often-difficult high school years, creates a safe place where everyone is accepted and cares about each other, allows for a creative outlet and provides opportunity for dancers to collectively live their passion.”

“This is my second year on H2Whoa,” said dancer Mayieteh Kimball. “With no experience before I ever joined the dance team, this year I became a sophomore co-captain with amazingly skilled dancers, co-captains Grace Dullum and Lizzie Mercurio. It has given me a chance to grow as an individual and to make new friends not only on this team but others as well. It helped me get over queasy feelings of presenting because we dance for larger crowds and I have more confidence than I had before. I will use all the skills I have gained to help me have a chance in life.”

“This team has to be the best one I’ve ever been on,” declared Michelle Lee. “We have a bond like no other and I love this team so much, don’t know what I would do without them.”

Heather Dobbins joined H2Whoa to be a part of the school.

“My first GHHS year didn’t go as planned; the ‘high school experience’ I once dreamed of became pointless,” she said. “I needed to meet new friends and be part of the school. My sophomore year I tried out for the dance team. It allowed me to fit in with school doing something I have a strong passion for. Being part of H2Whoa has let me gain friendships I know will last a lifetime.”

Mercurio, on the team two years, is a co-captain with two others.

“My experience on H2Whoa has been positive. It’s taught me a lot about commitment and responsibility. I love this team because we are all so close and get along very well. We perform at football and basketball games, assemblies and competitions at various schools and at state (competitions) in Yakima. It’s been a great experience.”

The H2Whoa team is made up of captains, all sophomores, Dullum, Kimball and Mercurio, freshmen Elaina Swanson and Maddie Werner, sophomores Michelle Lee, Heather Dobbins and Leela Peterson, junior Shawna Swanson, and seniors Jenna Walker and Taylor Wellbrock.

Come and share their enthusiasm!

Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at hmcmnp1000@centurytel.net.

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