PUBLISHED: 10:04 AM on Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Step by step
Floyd Dryden drill team jumps into first year
They've got the beat.

The Floyd Dryden Middle School drill team may have only formed in December, but the 40 members are already in step to perform.

Coach Jamie Miller said the team formed after she showed students how to use hip-hop dancing as exercise.

"I went around to the P.E. classes to show them a fun way to work out, and they just loved it," Miller said.

Miller received a grant to start a drill team and opened the group to any girl who wanted to participate.

"The whole purpose was to give them a way to connect and have fun," Miller said. "I didn't want to constrict anyone. It's not about skill level, but the dedication they had to it."

The team of 40 girls started 7 a.m. practices last week. There are two team leaders and two managers.

Seventh-grader Kyra Uddipa said it is difficult to wake up early for practice, but she enjoys being on the team.

"I get to see my friends, and I've made new friends," Uddipa said. "I just wanted to do it, and it's been fun."

Miller said the team has danced at some shows and will perform at the a benefit festival for Tlingit and Haida Head Start at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at ANB Hall and at the Gold Medal Tournament at the end of March.

"They're so excited. The biggest chore is finding them places to perform, and getting fund-raising," Miller said.

Miller said she hopes the team will continue next year, and has seen the girls learn much in their dance ability.

"For a lot of the girls, it's their first introduction to dance. Half of them didn't know what a toe touch was and now they're getting the moves down," Miller said. "I haven't taught before so it's new to me to see that progression. They're really doing great."