Lake Highlands High School kicks off Homecoming Week today, and as the Wildcats prep for their game against Jesuit Friday, the high-stepping Highlandettes are practicing for their big performance under Friday night lights. Leading them is senior Lauren Brunkenhoefer, captain of the squad, who chatted with me about “living her dream.”
How old were you when you first began dancing? Do you remember your first recital?
I started ballet when I was 3 years old at Dallas Ballet Center. My teacher was Mrs. Dana. Later I started taking tap, jazz and lyrical. My favorites are jazz and contemporary. I was a purple lollipop in my first dance recital. I had a blast performing and felt like I did pretty well.
Did you grow up watching the Highlandettes?
Yes, I grew up in Lake Highlands, and I saw the Highlandettes dance at football games. I would always make sure that I didn’t miss the half time performance because I was in awe of the Highlandettes. Ever since I was very young I wanted to be a Highlandette, and possibly even captain.
What type of leadership style do you have? How many girls are on your squad?
I consider myself to have an encouraging leadership style and to lead by example. While it is important to give constructive criticism, I try to be as positive as possible and motivate the team. I really look up to my director, Mrs. Anderson, as a leadership role model. I am inspired by how much she cares for each of us and am impressed at how well she runs the team. There are currently 47 girls on the line, plus five managers.
Captain Brunkenhoefer sounds a little intimidating. Do you have a nickname?
A lot of my teammates started calling me “Lebrunk” last year since there were multiple Laurens and that was my Instagram username. It kind of stuck.
What is your favorite Dette memory?
There are too many great memories to pick one favorite, but I really enjoyed our first home game with the new team this year, where I got to perform a kick routine side by side with the officers.
What’s the best thing about Homecoming?
I love so many things about Homecoming Week, but I especially love the excitement of all the routines finally coming together: the pep rally, our Varsity Revue performance and our field production.
What are your college plans?
Although I have not decided for sure, I am strongly considering Engineering and plan to either attend Texas A&M or Baylor.
You can watch Lauren and the rest of the award-winning Highlandettes at the game Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Wildcat-Ram Stadium. Varsity Revue, the talent show featuring school groups, garage bands and individual acts, will be held in the LHHS auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday night and 6 p.m. Saturday night. The Homecoming pep rally will be held at 3:15 Friday in the stadium and is open to the community. Go Cats!