Cougarettes continue to perform and engage community in new ways this fall

The Cougarettes are facing new challenges as they navigate their upcoming schedule amid the pandemic.  

No official answers have been given to whether the nationally recognized dance team will be able to perform at games and events this year and currently, no performances are scheduled for the team. The Cougarettes are embracing the unknown but still hoping to interact with the community.

“The team and coaches have been really careful with everything because a lot of other teams are getting shut down,” dancer Brinley Harris said. “The coaches have really encouraged the team to be safe on and off the dance floor.”

First-year co-coaches Stacy Bills and Morgan St. Pierre are encouraging a safe environment by utilizing the Healthy Together app, masks and other precautions.  

“I’m doing well,” Harris said regarding her health. “As student-athletes, we have a lot of resources given to us. I’m using those and following the advice of my coaches and trainers.”

The Cougarettes 2020-2021 season has seen the affects of COVID-19 from the start when they had to postpone their auditions in March.

The team was also supposed to hold an in-person Cougarette Sports Camp in July. However, the event was canceled following a statement made on BYU’s Sports Camp website saying, “all Brigham Young University-sponsored spring and summer conferences, workshops, camps and similar activities through Aug. 13, 2020, will be canceled.”

The team then decided to hold a virtual Cougarette Camp, consisting of online classes that featured various dance styles, one of the most popular being hip-hop.

“(It was) such a fun and helpful camp,” participant Averie Watson said on Instagram. “Big thank you to the Cougarettes for all the work they put into it.”

The team has made many efforts to engage with their audience in this time of social distancing. Following their national titles in jazz and hip-hop, the Cougarettes held an Instagram live class where they taught a signature dance routine.

Typically, the Cougarettes perform at football games, the BYU Cougarette Intensive, and other local events in the fall. The dance team recently performed at the “Under the Stars” event in Orem. They performed a few numbers, one of which was “Rescue,” choreographed by Emry Wride, Caroline Tarbet, Lauren Billings, and Mckinley Hawkes. This dance was dedicated to those affected by human trafficking.

Although there are some questions regarding the future, the Cougarettes will continue to practice like they are performing at fall events.

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