The 17 members of the Saltatrix dance team trained every day of the week throughout the summer, sacrificing sleeping in, going on vacations and spending time with friends outside of dance in order to make this year's performances great.
Junior Aaliyah Evans, whose been in Saltatrix since her freshman year, said that despite the sacrifices it was all worthwhile, and she feels that she became closer to her teammates.
"Summer practice was really great this year. This team is really strong." said Evans. "During the summer you truly bond with your team. The summer kind of forces you to up your stamina because you don't want to be left behind the rest of the group."
Although freshman Annette Miranda is still trying to adapt to high school, she said she is glad her friends on Saltatrix are there to guide her through her new journey.
"I think I have adjusted pretty well because of all of the new friends that I have made on the team. They help me with everything. " said Miranda. "Being a part of Saltatrix has helped me meet a lot of people, and be more involved in the school activities."
Team leader Isabella Gamboa has set some high standards for this year's team.
"I want to ensure that all of my girls reach their full dancing potential this year. We will never dance identically but we should all have the same passion and I want to bring that out in everyone." Gamboa said. "I want Saltatrix to leave a lasting effect on the girls. Being on this team teaches us skills that we can use in the real world."
Saltatrix director Sheila Dwyer talks about her journey through leading the teams.
"Saltatrix has been around almost since the opening of Eastwood. When I came to Eastwood I made Saltatrix into a competition team, and that decision has pushed them to the high level they have attained." said Dwyer. "The dancers work hard for those trophies all year, starting in the summer! They just get better and better every year. I am so proud of them."
Although Dwyer has already helped make Saltatrix one of the best high school dance teams in the city, she is implementing new strategies to help improve the team further.
"Saltatrix has used more improvisation in training this year than we have done in the past in order to open our minds to stronger creativity." said Dwyer.
Co-leader, Carina Licon, helps her team strive for improvement during every practice.
"Our practices consist of a mountain of progress crammed into two hours." said Carina Licon. "They require a combination of team determination and hard work, but they're fun. To motivate the girls, the other leaders and I try to make sure criticism is given only constructively, in a way that helps us grow as a team of friends and dancers. A lot of their motivation comes from their own will, determination, and passion."
Co-Leader Ammarette Alvarado, said she would love for this year's team to be remembered for a long time.
"I would like to leave behind an example of leadership." said Ammarette Alvarado. "I want the dedication and determination that this year's team has to set the standard for future teams."
Junior Andrea Hernandez, returning member, said this year's team members have formed strong friendships with one another.
"Although we barley met in the summer, all of us have bonded in a way that makes us dance better with each performance." said Hernandez.
Sophomore Brianna Standridge said that she feels that that this year will be a memorable one.
"Saltatrix has a good season coming up ahead because this team has improved from past years and it shows in their performances." said Standridge.
Saltatrix is currently working towards a successful win in Los Angeles, California at the Tremaine Convention in April next year. The team is very eager to see how this year turns out.