Heading into auditions for the three Sun dance teams on March 24, we checked in with Coach Rachel Pirie on what she is looking for with each team. Pirie, who has been dancing since she was three and teaching dance since she was in high school, was a member of the Solar Power dance team before becoming the coach.
On what she and the judging panel look for with each team
“We definitely look for someone who is energetic, who has a great personality and is someone who can interact with the fans, especially when talking about Solar Power. We look for dance experience and someone who can show that they have a lot of fun while dancing. For the kids, we look for someone who can exude youthfulness and that fun kid energy as well as someone who can hold a beat and dance. Seniors, it’s all about personality. We definitely want them to have a fun spirit and be able to look like they are having a lot of fun while dancing. ”
On transitioning from Solar Power into coaching the teams
“It was a great stepping stone for me. I think being in the action and being on the court and in the game, it gave me an inside view as to what the dancers experience. Although things have changed in the course of the eight years since I’ve been a dancer and now, I think it gives me the extra little niche that I know what the dancers are going through, I know what’s expected of them. It helps me to know how to coach them, because I know what they’ve been through. I know how they hear things and what they are seeing while performing and it allows me to coach them a little bit better.”
On her favorite part of coaching the teams
“Definitely working with all of the people of different ages. I think it’s one of the only positions where I can do what I do and work with so many different age groups and build bonds with all of those people. Members of Solar Power are around my age, so I can relate to them on my level, the seniors are a whole other set of family members and the kids bring all the silliness and keep me young and fun too. It’s definitely connecting with all of the people on the different teams.”
On the popularity of the senior dance team
“There’s not a lot of that type of act around. You don’t typically see people of that age going around and dancing, especially for a crowd. I think that piece is something that people look forward to and can relate to. They are definitely a fan favorite.”
Want to dance for a spot on one of the teams? You can register here.