Luminaries Light Up The Community

Varsity Dance Performance Team Entertains All Around Cedar Park


The Luminaries Performance Team smiles for the camera in their matching outfits. Sophomore and sergeant Ali Cooper joined Luminaries her freshman year, the first year the team existed. “My favorite part of being on Luminaries is the community-based performance,” Cooper said. “We get to go to hospital homes and entertain the elderly with some fun dances. Everyone is super sweet and we’re all friends on the team.” (Photo Courtesy of the Luminaries)

Kassidy Wilkinson, Reporter

A yellow ray is caught by the inky black sequins, making them shine in the artificial light. Feet hit the ground in sync, following the practiced rhythm. Hair blows in the wind, escaping from a rubber band’s hold. The crowd settles down to watch the artists as the music rings out from the speakers. The Luminaries smile. And then, they begin their dance.

Two years ago, the junior varsity Emeralds dance team was replaced with the Luminaries. This new team is its own separate entity with a different goal than its predecessor. Instead of being an extension of the varsity team Celebrities, Luminaries are a performance team that performs outside of school events in the Cedar Park community.

“My favorite part of being on Luminaries is the community-based performance,” sophomore and sergeant Ali Cooper said. “We get to go to hospital homes and entertain the elderly with some fun dances. Everyone is super sweet and we’re all friends on the team.” 

While a student can’t join Celebrities until their sophomore year, Luminaries is open to dancers of all grade levels.

“I joined Luminaries because I wanted to perform with a group of people my freshman year,” Cooper said. “But since that was the first year for the team to exist, everything was still super new.”

As a single-blocked class, Luminaries is less of a responsibility while still providing the same friendships and connections made on other sports teams, according to Evans.

“I think Luminaries is specifically beneficial to our students because the members get to experience a team atmosphere without the huge time commitment,” Evans said. “We get to see the Luminaries every other day, which is ample time for them to practice their skills and work on choreography for performances.”

Members of the Luminaries Performance Team experience a positive environment by making lifelong friendships and memories, according to Evans.

“We decided to create the Luminaries Performance Team because we recognized the need for a less competitive, more community focused dance team,” Evans said. “We hope to provide our [dancers] with fun and exciting opportunities to perform dances.”

Luminaries not only have opportunities to perform at hospitals and retirement homes, but they also get to visit elementary schools.

“My favorite memory with the Luminaries thus far is getting to witness their elementary school performances,” Evans said. “I love seeing how they expose young students to dance and how they inspire them to get involved.” 

Not only do the children love these performances, but the dancers do, too, according to Cooper.

“We go perform at their pep rallies or morning assemblies,” sophomore and social coordinator Cameron Johnson said. “And it’s really fun because all of the little faces of these kids lit up and they’re like ‘Wow, that’s so cool.’”

As the Luminaries team continues to thrive, it interests students with all types of different interests and ambitions, according to Evans.

“My favorite part about working with our dance teams is getting to work every single day with individuals who share my passion of dance as an artform,” Evans said. “I love getting to expose new students to the world of dance and all it has to offer regardless of your career interest or path. I am so proud of all the work that our founding members have put in to make the team successful and growing.”