When two dancers decide running routes and catching footballs is a good idea.

We were scared for our lives when Mr. Johnson informed us that we, the shortest, weakest and prissiest girls on staff, would be trying football for a day. Being two dancers, let’s just say that football isn’t our forte. Dancers aren’t made to tackle 200 pound men, or even catch a ball for that matter.

Prior to the beginning of practice, we were frantically texting back and forth about our apprehensive feelings on what we had just agreed to do. We didn’t know where to go, what to wear or if we needed pads and a helmet.

When we arrived at McMillen Field, we started off by conditioning with the entire football team. At first, we were comfortable because a lot of the workouts were similar to what we would do at a dance practice. The only difference being that we could kick our legs quite a bit higher than the rest of the boys. But once practice finally went into full swing, we were given a reality check.

As much as we would love to say that dance is a sport, it’s really not. It requires balance, flexibility and other physical attributes, but nothing that would be comparable to playing a game of football on the field.

We would like to think of ourselves as people who are somewhat coordinated. To be a dancer, you have to have some type of natural grace and presence—two things that aren’t required to catch a ball. So it made total sense when we together caught a total of about five balls during all of practice.

We went into this practice practically blindfolded; we had no idea how the sport of football worked, nor did we understand a single football term. So when we started doing drills, we were completely lost. We felt like a deer in headlights, which also resembled what we looked like.

Coach Vinny started us off by teaching some basic football stances and technique for blocking. Although they were fairly simple, we felt a little clueless. One drill involved us starting in a 3-point stance and then driving up into a dummy which was held by senior Marino Martinelli. Marino seemed caught off guard when Haley first hit the dummy stumbling back and saying “woah.” His friends teased him in a rowdy way for not being able to take hits from girls. After working with Coach Vinny, we felt as if we were starting to grasp the concept of football.

However, next we moved on to catching and throwing a football and were then put back into our place. Junior Branden Gallimore taught us the proper throwing and catching techniques… or at least tried to. Being the tiny people we are, we have small hands making it difficult to properly spread our fingers across the laces of the football in order to throw it. We gave up on throwing after a mere five minutes.

Despite only catching a combined total of five balls, the wideout drills were where we excelled the most. We did various drills: getting out of a jam, running routes, ball drills and blocking drills. Kristina was better at running to where the ball was being thrown, but struggled to catch the ball. Haley caught the ball more frequently, but was always off on where to run to resulting in her getting hit by the ball… a lot. The boys must have been impressed that we were keeping up though saying, “she has better hands than Nelson.”

Don’t expect to see us in a football game anytime soon or even standing on the sidelines of a game. We will stick to dancing and now truly understand what it takes to be a football player.