Talonettes Dance to a New Beat

Talonettes Dance to a New Beat

by Susan Neuhalfen

Drill teams are legendary in Texas. Many of the parents here grew up with drill teams and some were even members. It is a tradition many hope makes its way into the Argyle School System soon. Chay Coulter and her team of Talonettes are hoping to be part of that change.

The Talonettes is a dance team that is part of the Argyle Youth Sports Association (AYSA), performing at football games and other events. They range in age from kindergarten to sixth grade and have been part of the AYSA for over a decade. Because of their age range, the costumes are kept simple, but the routines require teamwork, which is new to many girls who have not participated in team sports.

“The five year olds can’t handle hats and boots,” smiles Chay, who voluntarily took over as coach in March of 2016. “The older girls help lead the younger. Teaching them to work as a team has its challenges but they all learn from it.”

In addition to teamwork, the girls learn about performing in front of a large group of people, showing up on time and being committed. Chay also teaches the girls to encourage each other. She tells them that they are “one” as a team. Most of the girls respond well to this but, like anything, it’s all a learning experience.

Chay herself was a drill team member throughout her school years. While in college at UNT she helped choreograph many routines for area schools. She has enjoyed her first season with the Talonettes and is hoping to grow the group over the next several years. In fact, she would like to see their efforts continue in the Argyle district as it does in other schools districts. With 24 girls currently on the team, Chay points out that the difficulty comes after they finish the 6th grade and then the team, for them, disbands.

“Our girls finish their time as a team and that’s it,” said Chay. “It would be nice for them to continue their drill team experience together throughout middle and high school.”

The girls perform at one AYSA Saturday football game each week, taking turns to perform equally at the different grade levels. In other words, one week they perform for the second grade team and another week they perform for the 5th grade team and so on. They also danced at the AHS homecoming pep rally this year and one Friday night AHS football game.

“They get excited when they have a brother on the football team because the whole family comes to see them,” said Chay. “It’s really cute.”

Interested girls may register online. The cutoff is typically the week before school ends to order the costumes and get the fittings done before football season starts. They attend a week-long summer camp and then practice two days a week throughout football season. They performed at about nine football games this year. Chay said she would also like to see the girls participate in basketball and volleyball games on occasion as well as some community events.

“It’s important to learn community service early,” said Chay. “This is a great way for the girls to learn to give back.”

Though her husband is from Argyle, Chay is new to the area and said the best part about doing this is getting to know all of the people in Argyle.

“Being new here I found being part of the Talonettes to be a great way to meet new people,” said Chay. “This is a great community.”

For more information or to register for the Talonettes, go to www.argyleyouthsports.com.

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