Golden Anniversary: Viewettes still kicking high

Story by. Joycelyne Fadojutimi

Longview High School (LHS) Viewette Director Debbie McGowan assumed her post in March, and learned her precision drill team will be 50 years young. She determined to make the occasion a special one.

The Viewettes perform at pep rallies and football games, and every spring they hold the Viewette Revue to showcase the dances and styles they perform. The difference between the Viewettes and cheerleaders is that cheerleaders cheer at pep rallies and sporting events. Since 1964 the Viewettes have been dancing with precision.

“We are very excited about the 50th anniversary,” said McGowan. “This is the first time that the alumni have danced on the field for the public. They have previously danced in the Revue.”

The Golden Anniversary festivities included a luncheon with an impressive attendance of more than 200. This included the members of the 1964 Viewettes–who performed their old routines flawlessly. McGowan was delighted with how the booster club decorated the luncheon, as well as with the several guest speakers who entertained the audience with tales of their dancing days and their own directors. A slide show chronicled the troupe’s 50 years.

It is a real chore to become a Viewette. Sophomores, juniors and seniors audition yearly after completing an application procedure. They learn to dance to jazz tunes, perform as a kicker team, and showcase their talents before a panel of three judges, many fall by the wayside.

Naturally, the vast majority of the 40 to 50 Viewettes are young women, but ten years ago one Bryan Smith became the first-ever male member of the team. Another young man most recently tried out unsuccessfully.

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