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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Captain empowers teammates throughout dance career

Brianna Marler reflects on high school experience as Talonette leader
Riley McConnell
Arm extended, senior captain Brianna Marler leads the team during pre-game. Marler joined the Talonettes her sophomore year of high school. She plans to continue her dance career after graduation.

Within the Children’s Health PISD stadium under the ‘friday night lights’, senior captain Brianna Marler leads the Talonette team onto the field during the halftime performance. Marler, and the dance officers – “The Stunning 6” – enter the field with batons in hand.

Marler joined the Talonettes her sophomore year of high school, since then she has been a leader both on and off of the field.

“I love the events we’re involved in as Talonettes, and being involved in our community,” Marler said. “I love being with my friends every day in practice, and performing together.”

Something I admire about Bri is her passion for dance, and leading to guide others to be successful. My favorite thing about being leaders together is she’s a great listener, and is very open to others ideas and perspectives. I love dancing with Bri inside and outside of school because we’re always having a good time while working hard and just having fun.

— Nalla Hussain, Junior

Marler previously served as one of the junior lieutenants, and she earned her position as captain the following year.

“I have always thought it was fun to be involved with drill team, and to show my spirit,” Marler said. “And, you know, just have fun and represent my school at the same time I get to do what I love.”

Alongside the dance officers, Marler leads the team at football games, contests, and events the Talonettes do.

“The best part about leading the team is definitely being able to represent such an amazing group of people,” Marler said. “It’s definitely an honor, and I love to see them grow as people and dancers every day.”

Marler meets with all officers every Tuesday to discuss ways to improve the team, and practice for upcoming contests.

“It’s a lot of communication to make sure we’re all on the same page,” Marler said. “To see what we need from each other, and we talk about you know, problems we have and how we can fix them.”

During the first semester, the Talonettes perform throughout all of football season and learn choreography for contest routines.

I love that Bri is always so real. She’s gonna tell you things straight, but in the best way possible. It also helps that she’s just a funny human, and never fails to make me smile. Dancing with Bri on Talonettes makes me so happy and I look forward to practicing and seeing her silliness. Even though we’re both helping in leading the team, she never makes it feel like a job and motivates me to be a better teammate and person. She always knows what to do or say even if she’s not aware of it. I love knowing Bri’s by my side because of her loyalty, humor, and enthusiasm

— Taylor Nguyen, Senior

“I didn’t think I would like football season as much as I did,” Marler said. “But it is definitely one of the best parts of being on team.”

Marler and the team also perform at all of the school pep rallies. The officers choreographed a routine for the last pep rally of the year.

“I’m definitely going to miss how fun our atmosphere is,” Marler said. “I’m going to miss our hip hop pep rallies. Those are so much fun, and definitely football season.”

As captain, Marler faced challenges she had to solve along the way, while also finding ways to balance all of her activities.

“It’s definitely very difficult to be in charge of such a big team,”Marler said. “That was definitely something I’m still learning about and still trying to overcome, but I love them all, and I wouldn’t want to change it for the world.”

Marler is also part of the senior drill company at Next Step Dance alongside Jr. dance officer Nalla Hussain.

“It makes it slightly easier that I have friends in it with me like Nalla,” Marler said. “She’s also at my studio, and she’s an officer with me, and you know, we have kind of a similar schedule. So, it’s good to know I have someone going through it with me.”

During practice Marler works with drill team director Ashley Sharp and Assistant director Colleen Hunt to have a successful rehearsal.

Bri always pushes and does her best and never lets anything stop her, so I try and do that in dance too if something’s hard. Anyway, Bri’s always nice, funny, and obviously super talented. It’s inspiring to see someone that good who’s not even technically a legal adult yet.

— Khloe Roan, sophomore

“Usually as captain, I just make sure the team is doing what they need to be doing,” Marler said. “I want to make sure that they’re in line and that they’re respectful, and then you know just being good, which normally they’re very good at so I have no worries there.”

Marler leads stretching at 7 a.m. and practice begins shortly after.

“After we stretch, we go into whatever we have for the day, whether it’s in elite practice or we’re rehearsing one of our group dances – That’s usually run by our coaches Sharp and Hunt,” Marler said. “And then after that, if that’s morning practice, then you know we go to our first period and then from there, we’ll go back to practice second period re-stretch and do the whole thing again, but it’s so much fun.”

Talonettes practice during second and sixth period alongside morning practice where they rehearse dances, practice technique, and do conditioning.

“I’ve really been able to drill skills that I wouldn’t have been able to get before,” Marler said. “And because I’m with the team so often, I make so many lasting memories.”

Marler will continue her dance career after she graduates high school.

“I definitely want to dance after high school, either if I’m on a team, if I choreograph, or if I’m just taking classes,” Marler said. “I definitely want to continue dancing.”

Right now, contest season holds Marler’s focus. Last year the team attended Nationals in Galveston where they won several titles.

“I really enjoyed going to Galveston with our team,” Marler said. “That was definitely a lot of fun.”

Marler was named national champion in the junior soloist division.

“Preparing for contest season takes so much work, but it definitely pays off in the end,” Marler said. “And, once you’ve been doing those dances for a while, and you go out on the floor and compete, it’s so much fun. I feel like it all pays off in the end at spring shows.”

Throughout her time as a Talonette, Marler said she created valuable friendships with teammates and directors that will carry on throughout her college career.

“We put in so much work into those dances, and when we perform them at spring show, that’s the last time – especially because it’s senior year,” Marler said. “It’s going to be so sad, definitely all the hard work that goes into competition season pays off, and it’s amazing.”

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About the Contributors
Sofia Ayala
Sofia Ayala, Assistant Print Editor
Sofia Ayala is a junior at Prosper High School. This is her third year working for Eagle Nation Online. She currently serves as Assistant Editor for Eagle Nation Times, and served as the Feature editor in the past. Sofia is part of the varsity PHS Talonettes where she enjoys to work together with her team. Outside of school, she enjoys going out on runs, reading, and listening to music.  
Riley McConnell
Riley McConnell, Chief Operating Officer
Riley McConnell is a senior at Prosper High School and is the Chief Operating Officer for Eagle Nation Online. This is her third year on staff and is involved in the Football Operations Department, an organization she is a founding member of. She is also the head photographer for the school's baseball team, alongside pursuing her personal photography career.
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