The Cougarettes have captured 15 national college dance championships and performing weekly at home sporting events.
One might think the roster is comprised of tenured dancers. Yet the roster has just one senior: Alexis Williams.
Williams started dancing when she was 3. Her family moved to Utah when she was 10 years old and her sole focus turned to dancing. She discovered the Cougarettes during her senior year of high school.
“It was exactly what I wanted to do,” Williams said. “It incorporated school, dance and the gospel.”
Auditions came up soon after graduating high school, but Williams was in the middle of recovering from knee surgery she had earlier in the year.
Unable to dance, Williams made the decision not to perform at auditions.
So, she brought film to the audition instead.
It’s rare for Cougarettes coach Jodi Maxfield to choose a dancer from an audition tape, but she decided to take a chance with Williams.
“I knew she had a lot of talent,” Maxfield said. “And a lot of potential to be a good addition to the Cougarettes.”
But as quickly as Williams achieved her dream, it was ripped away.
She tore her ACL during her freshman year, requiring her to sit out the start of her sophomore year.
It was a difficult setback, but Williams didn’t let it end her career. Her positivity and example struck a cord with her teammates.
“She has so much faith,” junior Piper Thorn said. “Having experienced so many injuries in her experience (with) the Cougarettes, and to still persevere through all of those (is inspiring). She comes out four years later stronger than she’s ever been. It’s so admirable and I look up to her because of it.”
Williams hopes she can continue to be an example to her teammates because they helped her get through her personal struggles.
“I wouldn’t be who am I today if it wasn’t for my teammates the past three years; both who they are as dancers and as people,” Williams said.
While Williams focused on building strong relationships with her teammates and coaches, she also felt her testimony growing stronger. Her personal focus on the gospel has made an impact on all the Cougarettes.
“I love her spirituality,” Maxfield said. “She’s so great at contributing to devotional or talking about anything of a spiritual nature. She always has a very good word of wisdom to pass on to others.”
Williams has shared the gospel through spiritual pieces at their concerts. The Cougarettes performed to David Archuleta’s “Glorious” during her sophomore year and she played the piano and created music for the piece.
She said that performance is one of her fondest memories of her Cougarettes career.
“It was a really special opportunity for me to share all of my talents in that one time,” Williams said.
Staring down her final season with the Cougarettes, Williams struggled to pin down one thing that she’ll miss the most about the team.
“I’m going to miss the whole package,” she said.