STEPHENVILLE (January 17, 2017) – From across the nation, performers both young and old gather at Washington D.C. for the presidential inauguration. This year, that group includes 2015 SHS graduate and Texas State Strutter Shelby Sult.
“We just got to San Antonio, because we are flying out really early in the morning,” Sult said Monday night. “It’s all starting to feel real, and I’m super excited.”
The Strutters will perform several times throughout the week. Sult and the Strutters will perform in the inaugural parade, at two galas, in the World War Two Memorial at the Reagan Building and more beginning on Wednesday.
“I’m very nervous,” Sult said. “I think we will be able to get it, but it does make you nervous thinking you forgot to pack something important or you might mess up on this part of the dance. But, I know it will all go smoothly. It’s just hard not to be nervous when it’s the biggest performance of your dance career.”
As part of their preparation, the Strutters practiced for a series of twelve hour days before classes started this week.
“Even though there have been really long days, it’s honestly super fun,” Sult said. “We’ve just been getting a lot of stuff done. The more we’ve been working on [the routines], the more excited I’ve been getting.”
Sult has never traveled to Washington D.C., so she is looking forward to visiting. Besides the performances, the Strutters are planning on visiting a few different places, including the Smithsonian.
“I think [this trip] will be a really cool thing to look back on,” Sult said. “It’s a very historic event. I’m looking forward to all of the memories we are going to make.”
Sult made the Strutters after trying out last May. She wasn’t originally planning on trying out because she wanted to go to UT Austin. But, her mother encouraged her to consider Texas State, and the Stingerette director Kim Kelsey encouraged her to try out.
“I really didn’t think it was possible at first,” Sult said. “But, all of the pieces fell into place. It all ended up the way it should have.”
While Sult is not sure she wants to dance professionally, she can’t imagine her life without the Strutters.
“I think the best part [of being a Strutter] is making so many great memories with 97 of your other favorite people,” Sult said. “It’s really cool to look back at all we have accomplished and knowing that you are continuing this legacy and that you are part of a program with such a rich history.”