OHS Chargerettes dance team seeks successful season with new head coach


Elliott Chaney, staff writer

After former Dance Coach Robyn Lyons retired after nearly a decade of work with the Oxford High School Chargerettes Dance Team, OHS math teacher Jenna Antolik was promoted to the role of head coach for the 2022-2023 season. The team has been working hard all summer to prepare for football games, pep rallies, and competitions. The team of 21 dancers meets after school and on the weekends to choreograph and rehearse their routines, practicing usually a minimum of five hours a week. One of their main focuses at this point in their season is working on sidelines for football games and rehearsing with the OHS Band’s music. Coach Antolik is optimistic for the upcoming season.

“So we practice after school, typically twice a week, we will run through those sideline routines and make sure that everybody knows what they are,” Antolik said. “So when a sideline like song comes on at a football game, there’s no warning of what song it’s gonna be. So the biggest thing is to get used to figuring out which dance goes with which song based off of like the first few counts of it. We have separate practices for our competition team, so they will put in extra time on Mondays or most of the time it’s on the weekends. We’ll do like a four hour practice on the weekend where we just go through our competition routine that has about 14 out of our 21 girls at that. We’ll also spend lots of time on our pep rally routines, halftimes, and pregame performances.”

Antolik had previously been the assistant coach of the dance team for the 2021-2022 season, so she had already gotten to know all of the girls before this season started. Additionally, Antolik teaches Algebra 2 at OHS, getting to teach some of her dance girls both inside and outside of the classroom.

“My favorite thing about coaching is getting to be at the high school with them,” Antolik said. “I don’t really think it makes a difference for a head or assistant coach but the best part is getting to strengthen my relationship with the girls. Prior to me, the girls had not had a coach at the school with them before. And I think that’s a great way to be able to be more than just a dance coach for them. Like they can come to my room anytime they need help. Like whether it’s emotional, academic, personal, things like that. And I’m able to see them more often than if I’m not in the building with them.”

A big factor in the team’s success is the hard work and dedication of captains Katie Brewer and Audrey Case. The two have been on the Chargerettes for the past three years and spend a lot of time working with new members, “cleaning” routines, and planning team bonding activities. One of the perks of being a captain of the dance team is having the privilege of choreographing for football games. This is one of Brewer’s favorite parts about being a captain.

“For the last pep rally, I choreographed the kick line and worked around some of the choreography from our sideline dances,” Brewer said. “When I was in middle school, one of my dance teachers let me choreograph my own solo in a competition, and ever since then I’ve loved it.”

Case loves the tight-knit community that the dance team provides. She loves being able to express and challenge herself with new skills every practice. She feels as though dance brings her a lot of joy. 

“I will miss each of the girls that I have danced with the most,” Case said. “Dance has brought me some of my very best friends that I have created an unbreakable bond with. All the connections I have with the girls on the team are incredible. I’m looking to hopefully join another team after high school or begin teaching dance to younger girls.”