Gateway: News

H2Whoa teaches passion for dance, builds bonds throughout ranks

A couple Fridays ago, Gig Harbor High School’s varsity dance team took over the Milton Boyd Auditorium at Peninsula High School for its 10th annual “Whoa Show,” which also featured other dance teams from the area.

What really got my attention was the group’s message that, “We are hosting a silent auction and a portion of the proceeds benefit the Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula Suicide Prevention Coalition.”

A very special endeavor!

Coach Wendy Seese said, “For six years, I have had the privilege of being surrounded by wonderful, talented, dedicated, compassionate people. The GHHS Dance Team, H2Whoa, is a family — though dysfunctional at times — that cares for each other, its school and its community. I recognize the importance of engaging kids in an activity where they can find and learn acceptance of themselves, of others, and share a common passion while still having fun. These dancers will carry for life the lessons learned: encouragement, acceptance, caring, compassion, respect, dedication, hard work, improving themselves and becoming the best dancers and people they can be.”

To GHHS junior Taylor Wellbrock, “H2Whoa is more than just dance to me. We’ve grown into an amazing family. We all work hard to push each other to be the best dancers we can be, all have a passion for dance, and it shows. I’m thankful for lifelong friends. I’m proud of every one of them, and of myself. I am truly lucky to dance with this team.”

For team captain Jessie Haworth, a senior, “Being a part of H2whoa gives me a place to feel accepted. It’s more than just dancing, it’s about escaping reality and relieving stress and worries while we perform. I get the chance to train and create dancers, transform them from lyrical-based to hip-hop-based. I had an amazing four years and am sad it’s coming to an end. This team shaped me into the person I am today.”

“Being on H2Whoa my freshman year has taught me to value working with others,” Grace Dullum said. “I’ve danced since I was 5; joining H2Whoa has been a different amazing experience. I meet awesome people and dance with them, too! Being a member has really showed me how much of a passion I have for dance. I can’t wait for these next years to grow in my dancing and work with new people throughout my high school years.”

“The dance team created a non-judgemental environment where I am able to express my personal life and as a dancer with a close knit group,” said senior Corey Rodriguez. “We’ve spent too many hours together to count. They are like family to me. The experience has been the best, and I’ll miss this group dearly. They helped me learn and grow not only as a dancer, but as a person.”

“I’ve had an amazing year and experience on H2Whoa,” said freshman Lizzie Mercurio. It has helped me grow as a dancer and allowed me be a part of a bonded team. From competing, performing at assemblies and going to state, we’ve accomplished a lot. We also have fun activities and helpful deeds for our community and organizations. After the hard work and stress, we have an end-of-the-year performance, the Whoa Show, giving us a chance to show how hard we work and commit. It shows how committed we are and how we can persevere through anything if we put our minds to it.”

Watch for next year’s performance!