GREAT FALLS — The CMR Wranglers are hosting a dance camp this weekend to help inspire young dancers and create a team atmosphere.
The camp will be on Saturday from 8am until 2pm. Each member of the dance team will work with the campers to choreograph their own dance that they will then perform at 2 PM at the basketball game at the CMR Fieldhouse. The fee is $40 and all proceeds go to help fund the Wranglers upcoming season.
Even though it will be a fun camp for kids, it can also actually create long-lasting impressions. I spoke with Great Falls public schools counselors to talk about how team sports can affect mental health in a positive way.
Andrea Savage is a mental health coordinator for Great Falls Public Schools and she explains that since the pandemic irrupts in 2020 mental health within schools are at an alarming rate.
“We are seeing more and more kids who are feeling helpless and hopeless for the future, and for a variety of reasons, and again the pandemic has played a huge role because everything has been so up and down and uncertain.”
In fact according to the Journal of science and medicine 9% of kids are diagnosed with major depressive disorder while 25% are diagnosed with some type of anxiety disorder.
“There have been plenty of studies shown that directly relate physical activity to better mental health,“ says Savage. "When you are part of a team sport you begin to not only exert those chemicals like endorphins but you’re also creating a sense of community.”
And a sense of community is definitely what the CMR dance team has created.
“I really think that learning the skills and the discipline can benefit all of us,” said senior captain Alayna Roth. “ being a part of this team has definitely built my confidence.”
She and fellow captain Devani Gumenburg are long-time advocates about the lessons that being a part of a team have taught them.
“I now have a job where I have to learn to communicate effectively to not only my coworkers but also my teammates here,“ Roth said.
“I've always been an extrovert but coming here and having people count on me to step up has definitely turned me more into a leader,” says Gumenburg.
I also spoke to counselor Melissa Flaten at Great Falls High School, who said that she has witnessed first-hand how sports can impact kids in a positive way.
“There are so many kids that I have come across in my lifetime that will say “the only reason I come to school is for sports“ and I think that is really telling of the impact that coaches and teammates can have on an individual,” she said.
It’s a sense of community that makes a team - but it’s the heart and soul of the members that make a team a family.
For more information about the camp, call CMR High School at 406-268-6100, or click here to view the registration flyer.