By: Kate Pabich
With their new pon poms and uniforms, one local high school team is in the spotlight.
The words "try outs" and "cuts" are unheard of for the Bettendorf Dusterettes.
They're an inclusive dance team that focuses on giving students with disabilities a chance to shine.
"I might be disabled but I can still do normal things."
Shai McKune is one of the dancers and says before the Dusterettes, school was hard.
"When I wasn't on this team I didn't have many friends, there weren't a lot of people that are disabled like me."
And that's exactly the reason, Senior, Claire Reisen decided to start the team up.
"At Bettendorf we have so many great things for kids at our school but we were kind of lacking on special needs and inclusiveness so I wanted to start a team for these girls to be part of something and cheer for their school."
It took her months, but she was finally able to get the team together and received a thousand dollar grant for the most important essential: uniforms. The team started with only two members but Claire says once word got out, others were anxious to put on the uniform too.
But aside from being part of something more, shay says the team gives her a reason to be proud of herself.
"My emotions just go crazy. The emotion I get when I'm out there is just so exciting because my mom is out there she's so proud and it makes me feel so good watching all those people seeing what I can do."
You can catch the Dusterettes at any of the Bettendorf High School basketball and football games.