Inclusive dance team at Battlefield HS wins Humanitarian Award
Posted on 04/02/2019
Members of Team Shine Together and Purple Reign Dance Team at Battlefield High SchoolIt's all about breaking down barriers and building bridges at Battlefield High School. Recognizing that students with special needs don't have the same opportunities to be involved in school athletics and social traditions, members of the Battlefield Purple Reign Varsity Dance Team decided to create an opportunity for inclusion. And, Team Shine Together was born.

Team Shine Together is an inclusive dance program for students of various abilities. The team participates in halftime performances, pep rallies, and drum line parades alongside the Purple Reign Dance Team.

Last month, the Virginia Education Association Fitz Turner Commission for Human Relations and Civil Rights selected the Battlefield High School Purple Reign Dance Team - Team Shine Together as the recipient of the 2019 Barbara Johns Youth Award for Human Relations and Civil Rights.

The award is given to a K-12 public school student or student organization whose achievements and activities in school have promoted positive intergroup relations and enhanced the dignity and esteem of others.

Team Shine Together Coaches and Student Accept Award at VEA Conference Team Shine Together dancers and Purple Reign dancers on school track performing in the rain.

Lindsay Brandt, a senior and captain of Purple Reign, cites Team Shine Together as one of the most rewarding efforts she has been involved with over her four years at Battlefield. Outside of dance, Brandt says she and her teammates have really made connection with the Team Shine students and exchange hugs and high-fives in the hallway.

“These students have such a positive outlook on life and such love for others,” shared Brandt. “I am so thankful for the past two years getting to spend time with them. They bring joy into my day.”

Melissa Golden, teacher for students with learning disabilities and coach of Purple Reign, along with Coach Kelly Sammon and Team Shine Together Dancer, Rachael Diaz were on hand to accept the award at the VEA convention award banquet on March 29.

Golden could not be prouder of her dancers for their work to build Team Shine Together as well as their many other community and inclusionary events.

“When not dancing, these young women are participating in monthly service projects,” shares Golden. “They have raised over $32,000 to support the Breast Cancer Foundation through our annual BHS “PinkOut” Dance for the Cure. And they conduct canned food drives each year for the Haymarket Food Pantry.”

Congratulations to Battlefield's Purple Reign Dance Team and Team Shine Together. Your efforts to give all students a sense of belonging is Positively PWCS.

Four female dance team students in hallway.Students parade down hallway with poms poms as part of drum line.