KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsSpirit of Southern Arizona

Actions

New coach to continue legacy of Walden Grove Dance Team

Walden Grove PAC Dance Team
Posted at 6:56 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 09:56:50-04

SAHUARITA, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Walden Grove High School PAC Dance Team begins every routine with a group chant. When the music starts, senior Isabella Albornoz said, "It's kind of like game mode. You're on and you just have to kill it."

The team's explosive energy has garnered national attention over the years. In 2018, they rocked the stage on America's Got Talent and were even featured on Good Morning America.

"This is the biggest commitment I've ever made in my life so far," said senior, Aymara Porras.

"There are a lot of new people this year. We really get to create a bond, new friendships and new dances. Getting out there and performing again is so rewarding," said senior, Andrea Alarcon.

The team has undergone change in the last year and a half. The pandemic forced the six-time state champions to take a break from practices, performances and competitions. Now that they are back, PAC is under new leadership.

"There are such big shoes to fill. Coming into it, I knew that," said Walden Grove PAC Dance Team Coach, Katie McNeely.

McNeely is willing to take on the challenge and plans to continue PAC's legacy.

"They want to perform well. They want to work hard. They want to push and be an inspiration for everyone that watches them. That's something I'm trying to instill in them, as well," said McNeely.

In February, the team will compete in the Arizona State Dance Competition for the first time since the pandemic. The group is already putting in the work to bring home another championship title.

"Things will look different, but the passion, desire and dancing will be just as great," said McNeely.