CALGARY, AB – Dancing at halftime of an NLL game at Scotiabank Saddledome.
That’s what a group of young girls had the opportunity to do, thanks to the Sterling Drill Crew.
The Drill Bits program was developed as a way for the Drill Crew to give back to the community and inspire young girls.
Now in its 10th year, the event has grown every season since its inception.
“We have the most [participants] we’ve ever had, 132,” said Drill Crew coach Dana.
“I think it’s just something, where we all have a dance background or are dance teachers, so it was natural to bring in the next generation and have them perform with us. It’s fun and it’s hilarious to have the little kids out there doing their thing.”
The event is very popular among the young girls that sign-up.
In fact, one participant only had one word to say about her favourite part of the event.
“Dancing!” Paige said excitedly, before she ran out onto the gym floor to begin the pre-event practice with the Drill Crew.
On February 21st at the ‘Dome, the Drill Bits performed two dances at halftime. The first to ‘Shake it Off’ by Taylor Swift, and the second to ‘Let it Go’ from the movie Frozen. In a surprise move, the Drill Crew had anthem singer Annie Pattison dress in costume as Elsa from Frozen and sing the song.
The Drill Bits had a great time dancing and put on a fantastic performance for the 11,645 fans in attendance.
“The best experience is just being on the field with the kids,” said long-time Drill Crew Dancer Tracy. “Seeing how excited they are to be out there and definitely the performance at halftime is the best experience for me.”
The event sees plenty of returning girls.
Some girls have even come back up to seven times, Paige being one of those little girls.
“We have many girls come back every year,” said Drill Crew member Michelle. “I think that’s a testament to the event.”
While the event has become such a hit with the girls, it has also become something the parents are excited for as well.
Richard, Paige’s father, has been taking his daughter to these events for years and has really appreciated all of the work the Drill Crew members do.
“I love watching [my daughter] have fun with this whole big extravaganza, it’s great.” Richard said.
“The [Drill Crew] are amazing role models. They work great with the kids, and amazingly enough, I believe that most of them don’t have kids, but you wouldn’t know it. They take them out as their own and take them under their wing and show them what to do.”
When asked about the title of role model, the Drill Crew dancers feel that they are role models for these young girls.
“I definitely think we are role models,” Tracy said. “It’s rewarding to walk around the concourse and have little girls come up to us and want to have pictures with us. They look up to us and we want to set a good example. Through this event, we’re just trying to promote a very healthy and positive experience. The Drill Bits program promotes teamwork, confidence, and self-esteem while giving these girls a positive atmosphere to express themselves.”
The Drill Crew is excited to build on the success of this event and are hoping to have even more kids participate in the coming years.