50 years of dance: Shy-Annes celebrate anniversary year with reunion, traditions

Mackenzie Johnson

Half a century. The Golden Anniversary. Decades of dedication, school spirit, and the art of dancing, make up the Shy-Annes drill team. This year the team looks to celebrate fifty years with a breakfast, homecoming performance, and spring show involving present and past Shy-Anne members. Over 100 former members will be recognized on the field and perform a routine during the homecoming halftime show.

“This year is a big year for the girls,” Shy-Anne director Amanda Cadena said. “Each year, Shy-Annes get inducted into Shy-Annes Forever because once you are a Shy-Anne, you are always a Shy-Anne. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the Shy-Annes and our hope is to bring everyone back from as far back as 1967.”

The halftime performance will bridge generations of Shy-Annes and create a visual of the history of the program.

“It’s special to see all the teams coming together from over the years,” dance captain Victoria Denena said. “It’s fun to see how things have changed and adapted, but still how tradition remains.”

Victoria, as well as many other current Shy-Annes, grew up watching the Shy-Annes from the sidelines before earning their chance to perform once they got to high school – fulfilling their childhood dreams.

“I used to come to Bryan High games when I was little and see the Shy-Annes dancing on the field,” Victoria said. “I have been dancing since I was three and it makes me joyful to do something I love.”

Former Shy-Annes are also excited about return to the field to celebrate homecoming at their alma mater.

“I’m excited to be a part of the 50th anniversary celebration because we are celebrating a legacy of leaders, role models, and talented ladies,” 2005 Shy-Annes captain Kristen Lipscomb said. “I was on the the team for 4 years and the things I learned while being a Shy-Anne have made me who I am today and I can’t wait to dance next to other former Shy-Annes.”

Cadena looks at the program through different eyes as she served as as a senior lieutenant for the Shy-Annes during her senior year after participating in the program for all four years.

“Being a part of Shy-Annes was the biggest part of my high school years,” Cadena said. “It consisted of early morning practices and late Friday night football games. It also kept me in line and I didn’t have any room to mess up. I had to keep my grades high and my conduct on point because we were held to a higher standard as role models on campus.”

Over the years, like most things, the Shy-Anne program has grown and evolved as times have changed, but at its core it remains a premier program at Bryan High.

“Some of the traditions changed between when I was a Shy-Anne and now, but we have brought them back this year,” Cadena said. “One of the things we brought back are the cowbells which the girls decorate and shake during the football game. We also brought back the sisterhood element of the organization by having a little sister-big sister system which creates an environment of community and responsibility.”

With any organization steeped in tradition the way the Shy-Annes are, there is a sense of pride and expectation that comes along with membership.

“I see Shy-Annes through a different lens now as a coach,” Cadena said. “I want my girls to be held to the same standard, but I also want them to know the power they hold as young women on campus. They hold their heads high, walk with dignity, and they work to respect everyone.”

The team not only strives to foster skills and characteristics that will go with members after they graduate, but also create relationships that will last a lifetime.

“My favorite part of being in Shy-Annes is the strong relationships that were formed while I was [there] because they are still strong today,” Dileo Lipscomb said. “We have been through everything together and I love that our children are now friends too.”