How Much Work Goes Into A Halftime Performance?


Luly Plaza, Class of 2023

When students think of halftime, the first thing that comes to mind is, that it is an opportunity for the football team to think of what plays they’re going to do in the second half. However, for the Dance Company, Cheer Team, and Band at West Park High School, it is the most important part of of the entire football game.

Performing at halftime is a big deal for these 3 groups because it gives them an opportunity to showcase their hard work and promote their growing programs. For example, halftime helps the Cheer Team develop important skills as well as grow stronger as a team.

Sophia De Martino, a Sophomore and the Junior Varsity Cheer Captain, wishes that the routines were more complex, but due to limited time, the team has to come together to learn and perfect a successful routine. 

“Usually we make a routine a week before so it really is like a time crunch during practice, so we have to use all the minutes that we get to really just make it work and then put time in at home working on the dance…”

Going into further detail, De Martino describes how the team uses more of practice time working on stunts, because the cheerleaders can’t do the stunts at home. This leaves little time to put together the routine and learn the dancing part of it. Unlike the cheer team, the Marching Band takes a different approach in preparing a halftime performance.

Patrick Neff, the Band teacher at West Park High School, reveals how he begins planning out routines that are performed during August-October, in March. 

“Finding a show that works well on Friday Night as well as a show that works well on Saturday Night at competitions can be pretty challenging because you want to find music that  the student section and the crowd could connect to but you also want it to be music that fits the competitive aesthetic…”

In addition to this, Neff ensures that he creates a show that can be used in future years, that will still be enjoyed by the judges at competitions and the student section at future football games. 

These performances requires a lot of hard work and time commitments made by both the teachers and the students performing.

“There is a level of preparation and time…those kids are out there on the field late Tuesday and Wednesday evenings…it is a great deal of time and effort…”, Neff states.

Not only does it take a lot of commitment, it is also difficult for the makers of the routine to create something that will be enjoyed by the audience and keep their energy high for the second half of the football game.

Emma Williams, a Senior and the captain of the Momentum Dance Company, recalls how the biggest struggle of creating a halftime is trying to make everyone happy with their routine.

“Finding music all generations can enjoy, and what dance to do to go with the theme [of the game] is very strategic.” 

The satisfaction and acknowledgment of the audience at the games is something all 3 groups aim for when creating or planning something to show. 

De Martino wishes the audience knew how hard the process is and realize how many hours of hardwork are spent into a routine, as well as the bravery that is needed to do stunts. She describes how people can get hurt doing stunts and that it takes time to get them right.

Similarly, Williams wishes the audience knew how hard the Dance Company tries every time they dance, and all of the hard work each dancer puts in. 

On top of building up the courage to perform, the Cheer Team, Dance Company, and Marching Band put their all into creating entertaining and high energy performances to please the audience of all ages, every Friday Night Lights.