El Campo High School Derby Dolls are preparing for competition on Feb. 13 and Feb. 27, but prior to those contests, the general public can get a sneak peak of their performances next week. The 36-member team will present a “Show Off” in Ricebird Gym at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11.
“This is always a fun time for the girls to debut their routines to their family and friends,” Derby Doll Director Jenna Zabodyn said.
Preparation began last year following football season, with the group learning three team routines and three military office routines at that time. Practice requires dedication, as they report each school day for early morning practice. They’ve recently added another practice session on Thursday evenings in preparation for contests.
The group will compete in two contests. The first, the Crowd Pleasers Dance West Houston Senior Showcase, will be at Bridgeland High School on Saturday, Feb. 13. The second competition will be the American Dance Drill Team Houston Regional Championship at Moody Gardens on Saturday, Feb. 27.
At each competition, the Dolls will be showcasing the following dances: team military, team pom, team lyrical, officer contemporary, officer lyrical, officer pom, social officer pom, one trio, two duets and seven solos.
“Although the competitions will look and feel a little different this year with COVID restrictions in place, the girls couldn’t be more excited to get back out on that dance floor and perform,” Zabodyn said. “It is truly their happy place and they will follow any guidelines and stipulations necessary in order to make it happen.”
Zabodyn is amazed at this team’s resiliency, overcoming obstacles that were unforeseen because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“They were dealt a pretty bad hand this year, and they’ve done nothing but make the most of it,” she said. “Not traveling to away games and limited pep rallies during football season was tough for them but they were resilient. Our team theme this year is ‘Be the Light.’ I’ve never had a team shine brighter.”
Zabodyn invites friends, family and the community to see the show next week.
“Dance moves people. These girls will move you, I promise,” Zabodyn said. “They were made to do great things and they wake up early every morning and come to practice because of their love for dance and their love for each other. It truly is amazing to witness.”