Meet the Karnes City Highsteppers

Sept. 29, 2011 at 4:29 a.m.

There are demands when it comes to being a Karnes City Highstepper, and high expectations await those chosen to be on the team of black and orange.

"In the long run, it's not just being on a dance team, it's about how you function in the real world," said Highstepper co-director, Emily Gotthardt.

This year, 29 girls accepted the responsibility of being a Highstepper - one of the largest teams to come out of the school of fewer than 300 students.

In such a small school, the girls may split their time between sports, band and dual credit classes, but Gotthardt said they still dedicate 100 percent to their dance team and to the discipline and time commitment it requires.

"With time, they have established a reputation for themselves, and they're excited to be a part of something that people are excited to watch," said Penny Armstrong, the Highstepper's other co-director. "It's more than just the entertainment aspect. The girls are seen as leaders."

Even so-called rivals can't knock the character of the Karnes City dance team, Armstrong said.

The past two years, other dance teams have voted to award the Highsteppers the "Friendship Boot" honor at officer summer camp, which goes to the team that displays the most spirit and friendliness.

These are the traits Gotthardt and Armstrong, both of whom are former dancers, said they hoped to pass along to their team.

The community "can look at the Highsteppers and say, 'That's a classy group of girls who are representing our school and our town,'" Gotthardt said.

Armstrong called the Highsteppers "the little dance team that could," and said the girls thrive from the encouragement they receive.

"It's just been overwhelming and humbling to think that this little dance team from Karnes City is getting such support from not just those in Karnes City, but from surrounding areas also. It's so awesome for the kids," Armstrong said.



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