De La Cru dances into the new school year

Jame Sewell, Staff writer

“De La Who? De La Cru!” is what students cheer at the beginning of every performance of the dance team, De La Cru. But while students can only see the synchronized dances of the hip-hop team at events such as the Pep Rally and the Variety Show, De La Cru is so much more to the dancers than just the final performances, senior Captain Julia Lis emphasized.

Being on the De La Cru dance team is not only a way for the performers to express their love of hip-hop dance, but also allows them to showcase their hard work throughout the weeks before a performance, senior Sabine Lee, De La Cru Key Dancer, said. De La Cru is mainly student-run, as the dancers themselves create the choreography, choose the songs, and decide formations, Lee said.

“[Since] all of our choreography is made by the team, [I] feel a sense of pride when [I] get to show that to everybody.” Lee said. “I just love performing and I love the feeling of [performing] with my close friends.” 

Each member of De La Cru is equally meaningful to the team, Lis explained. Each member has their own responsibilities when it comes to their performances, she added.

“[The members] all have a significant role, whether [they] are front and center or having a moment in the back.” Lis said “Everybody is important because we [all] make up the team. If one person doesn’t know [the routine] then it looks like we all don’t know it, so it’s important that all of us practice and put in the time and effort to make us look good”

This year, De La Cru has undergone some changes, including having a new sponsor, Elizabeth Nestos. Despite Nestos being new to De la Cru, she explained her admiration for the team and for the opportunity to sponsor  a group she described as “committed, respected, and united.”

“I’m in awe of [the team],” Nestos said. “They are determined, compatible, focused on the same goals, [and] incredibly respectful; they come to work. They are going to have a magnificent season.”

Due to Covid-19, the numbers of dancers in De La Cru have dwindled, with the vast majority of the performers being seniors, Lee explained. Because of this, she worries about the future of the team.

 “We have one freshman, six sophomores, two juniors, and 12 seniors [on the team], so it’s such a weird proportion.” Lee said. “I think it’s really important to have people know what De La Cru is [for recruitment].”

Lis expressed she has found a deep connection with De La Cru, and  values the bonds of love and trust she has formed with her team. For Lis, De La Cru is a home away from home.

“This team has become such a family to me [and] I don’t know what I would have done without it,” Lis said. “Honestly, if I wasn’t on De La Cru, I feel like I would have lost dance. Being able to be here is a big deal to me because that means that I am devoting my time and effort to people I actually care about and to a team I want to show up for.”