Donna High School graduates Pamella and Robert Tovar have fond memories of their years on the D’ettes Dance Team. Robert was part of the group for two years while his sister participated throughout her entire high school career. Fast forward a few years and the siblings are still together dancing alongside each other – this time at the college level.
Pamella and Robert are members of Stephen F. Austin (SFA) University’s Dance Team in Nacogdoches, Texas. They attribute their love of the sport to their involvement in the D’ettes. “It was never really my intention to dance because I was in band,” Pamella said. “My brother told me about the D’ettes tryouts and encouraged me to audition with him, so I did. I was fortunate to make the team. Soon after, I fell in love with the whole concept of dance.”
Robert is glad she accepted the challenge. “I told my sister it would be a fun hobby if we auditioned together and made it together,” Robert said. “It’s been a roller coaster ride dancing alongside each other for so long but it’s been an awesome experience.”
The siblings credit their former Drill Team Director Janet Garcia for instilling in them a passion for dance. “Ms. Garcia had a big influence on me because when I was a senior she told me to keep going,” Pamela said. “She encouraged me to keep pursuing dance and audition anywhere I could. She was a big help and my biggest inspiration. Because of her, I am where I am today.”
Robert couldn’t agree more. “Ms. Garcia is an amazing coach. She loves her students and instills great values through her teaching. Working with her made me want to continue to dance. She taught me the value of dancing and how dancing is important in everyday life because you’re able to show your art through your body.”
The Tovars are now proud to be affiliated with SFA’s Dance Team. The squad, which is made up of 36 members, recently competed at the 2017 National Dance Alliance Collegiate Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida. The dancers did so well, they brought home first place awards in the team performance and pom dance categories.
“I thought I was done with competing so I never thought I would be where I am today,” Pamela said. “It’s a dream come true to say that I’m a national champion alongside my brother. All I wanted to do was dance but winning titles is the most amazing feeling in the world.”
“It’s a great feeling to be national champs,” Robert said. “We’re proud to say that our SFA Dance Team has won 12 national titles since the group’s inception in the 1980s. It’s an awesome feeling to be part of a winning team.”
The Tovars are grateful for the opportunity to have danced alongside each other for many years. They will cherish these memories forever. “I’ve danced with my brother throughout my whole dance career,” Pamela said. “It’s been great making memories and being able to share all these accomplishments with him because we are pretty close. I can’t imagine going through this dance experience with anybody else.”
Robert is leaving behind some great memories. “I’m graduating this year and it’s a bittersweet feeling knowing that I’m leaving the SFA Dance Team and competitive dance. But I’m looking forward to my future career in dance.”
Robert and Pamella both plan to make dancing a career after college. Their dream is to perform across the country.