Two HCHS dancers headed to UPike


Shalora Neely and Claudia Hatfield, both seniors at Harlan County High School, made the dance team at the University of Pikeville after four seasons on the HCHS squad.

John Henson, Managing Editor

After four years as members of the Harlan County High School dance squad, Shalora Neely and Claudia Hatfield weren’t ready to stop. They both tried out for the University of Pikeville dance team and were among four freshmen selected.
“Claudia and Shalora are two of the top dancers on the squad,” Harlan County coach Anna Carruba said. “Their leadership skills were outstanding and their sense of teamwork provided a family atmosphere for the dance team. UPike will be a better team with those two on the squad.”
“I feel incredibly blessed to be able to continue my passion for dance,” Neely said. “I’m very excited that I get to live my dream of dancing in college with my best friend. I wouldn’t want to spend the next few years dancing beside anyone else.”
“I don’t think I could have gone to Pikeville and had a good time if I wasn’t able to experience the ‘college life’ with my best friend,” Hatfield said. “When I went to try out for the UPike dance team, I was nervous with sweaty hands and could barely sit down, but when I made the team I couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks. It’s a honor to be a part of the squad.”
While Hatfield traveled to Pikeville for a tryout, Neely made the team with a virtual tryout from home. She is looking forward to college but said she enjoyed her time at HCHS.
“When I was in kindergarten I used to look up to the high school dance team. I always wanted to be one of them,” she said. “I feel very blessed to have gotten to be one and to be a role model for young girls.”
Both Neely and Hatfield plan to major in nursing and biology.