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Favorite Son continues

Sydney Hembrough, Staff Writer

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As basketball season begins, so does competition and performance season for the J’ette dance team. This high-energy, dedicated group of girls work year round perfecting routines for camps, pep rallies, halftime performances, and competitions. A new season means many new things for the team: new coaches, new costumes, and like always, new routines. Even with all of these fresh starts, the J’ettes will keep the “Favorite Son” tradition alive this season.

“Favorite Son,” a routine consisting of chairs, black lights, gloves, and tambourine hats, started back in 1993 under the instruction of former coach Jan Ryan. The team learned this fun, unique routine at Showstoppers Dance Camp.  Since then, the J’ettes have made this dance into a tradition. This crowd-favorite routine became a symbol of the J’ettes from the past and for years to come. In order to preserve its importance, the routine is not performed every year. It is a rite of passage for the seasoned members to teach the new members when the time comes. When graduation comes and the senior class hangs up their J’ette uniform, it is not the end for their “Favorite Son” career, though. In fact, many former J’ettes return to perform the routine at the alumni games. TIffany Hickox, coach and former J’ette, claims that this routine is “one of those you never lose.”

Tiffany was a part of the 1993 team that attended Showstoppers Dance Camp and learned “Favorite Son” originally. In fact, she got the privilege of being the girl in the middle of the line that all of the other girls blew a kiss to in the beginning of the routine. This dance was welcomed as a way to sit down and relax after the high demands of the other dances. Tiffany treasures the memories she made as a J’ette and is thankful that this routine brings back her dancing years along with her 18 years of coaching. It is also a way for her to reconnect with J’ettes she has coached throughout the years. Tiffany calls “Favorite Son” the “tie that binds so many generations of J’ettes.”

As a member of the J’ette class of 2018, I can proudly say that I was able to take part in this tradition. I also have been lucky enough to be able to perform the routine for two out of four of my years on the team because I was a freshman when I learned “Favorite Son.” This past summer I got the privilege of carrying on the tradition of teaching the underclassman the routine. It was really sentimental to see the coaches, who also knew the routine, participate and give their input. Many stories have been shared regarding this tradition, and there are many to come. As my dancing days come to an end, I know that I will always hold this routine close to my heart and look forward to sharing my experience with my fellow J’ettes.

 

Photo from Cammie Symons

 

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