By Lena Qian / Features Editor
Over the summer, junior Charlotte Hagood launched a new student-led dance club focused on building both community and school spirit.
Since 5th grade, Hagood has wanted to be part of the dance community at Harpeth Hall. However, due to out-of-school commitments, including competitive dance, she never had the time to join the Harpeth Hall Dance Company.
Early in her sophomore year, Hagood began to think of a way for other dancers at Harpeth Hall that face similar time-commitment issues to meet together during the school day.
“I wanted to have a place where people like me could come together and dance at Harpeth Hall without it being as much of a commitment,” Hagood said.
Part of the inspiration for the new dance club was noticing the lack of a defined spirit team at the school. Although there are MBA cheerleaders, there are no cheerleaders for Harpeth Hall.
“In high school, there are really no people that are there solely just to bring spirit and raise community for the school,” Hagood said.
Thus, Hagood began her quest in beginning a flexible club that could simultaneously garner school spirit. Her journey did have challenges. At first, she struggled on how to start a club specifically focused on dance.
“There’s never been a dance club, and I have never been on one outside of Harpeth Hall,” Hagood said.
However, with the support of former Director of the Upper School Armistead Lemon, Head of School Jess Hill, physical education and wellness teacher Diana LeMense and fellow dancers in the upper school who brought their suggestions to the table, Hagood was successful in instituting the dance club, which was passed by Student Council in the spring.
“They all have been very supportive of the idea and have wanted a way of bringing dance and spirit and a community to this school,” Hagood said.
Mrs. LeMense, the club’s faculty sponsor, especially has been eager to support in any way she can.
“The more dance happening on Harpeth Hall campus, I think the better for the entire community. So, anytime I can support dance in any shape or form, I want to,” Mrs. LeMense said.
Once the club was passed, Hagood had to focus on the details of the club, especially what the main purpose of the club would be.
Originally, Hagood envisioned the club as a dance team that would perform at sporting events and compete against other dance teams in the state. However, once hearing there would be no hired choreographers to lead the club, she decided that a competitive team was not the right move.
“Since it’s going to be student-led, for now, it’s going to be more performances for the school and not going into competition,” Hagood said.
Unlike Harpeth Hall’s Dance Company, which meets almost every day after school, the club will meet only during Moon Clubs in the Fitness Studio, reaffirming its mission as a welcoming space for students who do not have the time to meet after school.
“It’s gonna be a very low-key and relaxed way for girls to come together who want to dance but cannot commit fully to Dance Company,” Hagood said.
The current goal for the club is that its members will work together to collaborate on a piece and perform it by the end of the semester, maybe even with costumes.
The future for Hagood’s new dance club is unclear, but she hopes that it will bring more camaraderie and spirit to the campus.
“I’m hoping that once the club gets up and running, it’s able to be a super fun and spirited way to show our Harpeth Hall pride and just bring the community together with our love of dance,” Hagood said.
Although the club only has ten members so far, Hagood encourages other students who share a love of dance to join as it is open-invitation.
Hagood’s quest in getting other students like herself to get involved with the dance community at school was completed. The new dance club serves as a school-time alternative to after-school dance, welcoming all dancers whether they just want to dance for fun or to collaborate with other students.