Torri George Prepares For Final Performance As Highsteppers Captain
(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Torri George was in her second season with the Cedar Hill Highsteppers Dance Team when she became one of the team’s Junior Lieutenants.
Last March, the team was competing at the American Dance/Drill Team Nationals in Hawaii. The team had a chance to enjoy the sunshine, beaches and tourist attractions, but they returned to Texas to the new reality of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“We were living the dream in Hawaii, and then we got the call,” George said.
George adjusted to Flex Learning and thought about her future with the Highsteppers. Would there even be a season? What would it look like?
The 2020 “Senior Sendoff” last May consisted of the seniors performing in front of parents and siblings, who sat in their cars in the parking lot, just outside of the CHHS Baseball/Softball Field.
At that point in the Pandemic, the team was simply grateful for that opportunity.
That same month (May 2020), George auditioned for the captain position for her senior season. That involved recording a solo video and sharing her thoughts on leadership.
When an independent panel selected George as captain, eighth-year Highsteppers head coach Mila McQueen knew it was the right decision to lead the competition team of 30 members, including 17 seniors.
“She is a great motivator for her teammates,” McQueen said. “Dance-wise, leadership-wise and technique-wise, she was the best person for the Captain position.”
As the first Highsteppers Captain to ever lead a squad through a Pandemic season, George faced unique challenges. Officer Camp didn’t happen, and there weren’t as many opportunities to compete. When they did, the team was successful, but they had to deal with the challenges of social distancing.
American Dance/Drill Team Nationals at Mansfield Timberview High School
This Saturday evening, George will lead the Highsteppers for the final time when they compete at the American Dance/Drill Team Nationals at Mansfield Timberview High School. The team will compete in the following categories: Military, Pom, Open and Hip Hop.
George said her favorite categories are the contemporary dances.
Although traveling to Tarrant County obviously isn’t the same as Hawaii, or southern California – where the Highsteppers competed in 2019 – George said the team has a laser-like focus on succeeding this weekend.
“We learned about our opponents, and we have some really good opponents,” George said. “This is the most important competition of my career. It’s kind of a little sad that it will be my last competition. I know I have to bring my ‘A’ game.”
George, who moved to Cedar Hill from Grand Prairie as a freshman, enjoys the leadership role, which she says has been a valuable learning experience.
One lesson has been that things change rapidly when you go from being a friend/teammate to a leadership role, and that it’s important to balance those roles.
Another balancing act is knowing when to be serious and when to have fun.
George said she had a great role model in 2019-2020 Highsteppers Captain Hannah Ethridge, who graduated as Cedar Hill High School’s Class of 2020 Salutatorian.
“She taught me that team cohesiveness is important and to make sure that nobody feels left out,” George said.
George ranks in the Top Seven Percent of the Class of 2021 at Cedar Hill High School. She plans to study Pre-Law at Texas A&M University this fall. Her long term goal? Becoming an Intellectual Property Attorney.
“A&M just felt like home to me,” George said.