What it’s like to perform for the Harlem Globetrotters halftime show


Jahlea Douglas

Sophomore Lyn Jarrell is a staff writer for Elkhart Memorial GENESIS who specializes in opinion and column writing.

Lyn Jarrell, Staff writer

Going to the Harlem Globetrotters show at Notre Dame has became a tradition for me. For the past three years, including this year, I’ve not only went to watch the performance, but I’ve also went to perform during their halftime show. 

For eight years now, I’ve been doing dance classes and performances with dance groups. A few years ago, Mrs. Robin (my dance teacher and instructor) finally opened her own dance studio because the YMCA shut down. Her dance company is called “Robin’s School of Dance”. 

About three years ago, my dance school was invited to perform at the Harlem Globetrotters halftime show. From then on, it’s become a tradition to perform every year. Getting ready to perform takes a LOT of time and practice. 

The Harlem Globetrotters halftime performance is much different from my dance school’s regular performances. We’re always sectioned to different levels and different styles of dance, when we are normally practicing and performing. 

But when we practice and perform for the Harlem Globetrotters halftime, we are all put together in one big group. That means that the younger kids and intermediate kids are mixed with us older and advanced dancers. 

Our dance for this performance is not difficult because it has to be quite simple in order for the younger kids to easily remember it. Oftentimes, I feel a bit childish, but that’s bound to happen since I’m one of the oldest dancers at my dance school.

Practices for this performance happen on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Two hours long. Each year we’ve had different ‘costumes’ or ‘performance outfits/uniforms’, but recently, we’ve gotten permanent outfits for our performances at the Elkhart Winter Parade, and the Harlem Globetrotters halftime. 

In all honesty, performing at halftime is nerve wrecking. We stand in the middle of the court and everyone in the stands and on the floor can see us. I know that if I mess up, it will be noticed. The only little comfort I get when going out to the court to perform, is that I am not the only one dancing.

I’m not dancing by myself. I never wish for any of us to mess up, but if it were to happen, I just pray that it wouldn’t be me. After we perform, the Globetrotters come back on the court, and they’ll walk to the middle of the court to reach us.

Once they get there, we take a group photo with the Globetrotters and then the Washington Generals begin to walk on the court. When they walk on, only a few of them will wave nicely to us, but most of them make gestures and facial expressions that show they aren’t too happy about us supporting the Globetrotters over them; as if we’ve somehow offended them. 

It’s all part of the act, but it’s funny every time, nevertheless. After we’ve walked off the court, we wait in an area until our parent or guardian comes to pick us up, and then we’re able to go back to our seats with our family and enjoy the rest of the show. It is such an amazing experience. 

I cannot express how groovy it is to be a part of such magnificent things. If you ever get the chance to go to the Harlem Globetrotters show, I recommend checking it out. I have no doubt that you’ll enjoy it.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Email Lyn Jarrell at [email protected].