Created: April 08, 2020 10:04 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With schools closed down, students across the state had their prom plans canceled, but a high school dance team decided to come up with their own alternative version of prom.
“A lot of us have been sitting around in pajamas all day, and we're not combing our hair or putting on make-up, and I said, ‘We need to get fabulous, we need to do something,’” said Nikka Gutierrez, coach of the Albuquerque High School dance team.
So the Bulldoggies dance team set out to get glam for the night.
"One of the girls suggested prom night, and I said well, any dress, any fancy dress, some didn't buy a prom dress, others aren't old enough to go to prom, I'll just put my Christmas dress on and we'll get fabulous for the night,” Gutierrez said.
Virtual prom wasn’t just an escape for the dancers on the team. Their coaches were able to have some semblance of what they were looking forward to on prom night.
"Just being able to see them all decked out, and where they're going to dinner, and checking who their date is—I gotta make sure I approve—and just seeing them have a good time and seeing the smiles on their face,” said assistant dance coach Andrew Lovato.
The Bulldoggies have been meeting virtually every Sunday and would have competed in the state competition two weeks ago if it hadn’t been canceled.
"As dancers and even out to the cheerleaders, we only get this moment once a year, and it's two minutes a night, four minutes in total that we train year round for. That was hard for us. We didn't expect our last practice to be our last practice,” Lovato said
The team’s maturity, dedication and love from their coaches, and lessons being learned during the pandemic really shine—even brighter than their uniform’s rhinestones.
"Because we spend so much time together, we create a bond and you just can't ignore that bond for a long period of time. You know what I mean, you can't just not talk to someone you've spent all of your high school life with, you can't not talk to each other whether it's in person or through a video chat,” said Bulldoggie Valeria Vasquez.
Coach Gutierrez continues to encourage the team to keep pushing forward.
"I kind of tell the girls all the time that we're family, we're ohana, we take care of each other, these are your sisters."
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