TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida dance community lost one of its own in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday.
One of the 17 teenagers killed in the attack was 14-year-old Jamie Guttenberg, a dancer at the Dance Theatre Academy in Coral Springs, Florida.
The dance community is a close one, and as word spread of Gutteneberg’s death, dancers in Florida and around the country began wearing orange ribbons in remembrance of Guttenberg and in support of her family.
The Florida State Golden Girls dance team has several dancers from South Florida, and when they saw the campaign on social media, they knew they wanted to be involved. The Golden Girls performed during the Florida State men’s basketball game against Pitt on Sunday with orange ribbons pinned to their garnet tops and the thoughts of a young dancer gone to soon on their minds.
Senior captain Abigail Lacaillade saw a post with the hashtag #OrangeRibbonsForJamie on another dancer’s social media page and was inspired to do something positive after the tragedy.
“I clicked on the hashtag and it has 300 posts and that was Saturday morning,” Lacaillade said. “I just felt like this was something so easy that we could do to show our support for this poor family.
“We take dance for granted. We wake up every day knowing that we can go to practice and she probably thought the same thing, too. She was going to rehearsal after school. It just breaks my heart. This is the least week could do.”
The feeling much of the country experienced as they watched the events in Parkland unfold was one of helplessness. That was no different for the Florida State dancers, who were eager to feel like they could contribute, even with a small gesture.
“We get the opportunity to dance today, and that’s not the case for everybody,” junior co-captain Lena Hauser said. “I think the ribbon was a perfect reminder.”
The Golden Girls performed the routine that took home third place in the 2018 UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in the Division I-A Jazz category.