By Emily Colee
This is not your average student-athlete. This athlete doesn’t tackle, throw or sprint with violence; she turns, bends and jumps with elegance.
She doesn’t wear cleats or spikes; she’s barefoot.
Her uniform isn’t a jersey, it’s a two-piece sequined uniform.
And even though she differs from the universal idea of an athlete, her talent is analogous to all Division 1 athletes.
At the University of Mississippi, they’re the Rebelettes, the school’s dance team. Hundreds compete for the honor of being a Rebelette, but coaches choose fewer than 10.
One of those selected is Amelia Harvey, a Colorado native who attended Cherry Creek High School in the suburbs of Denver. In her four years of dancing for her high school, her team won three state championships and finished as runner-up in the UDA National Dance Team Competition in 2020.
“After winning three state competitions I knew I couldn’t stop there,” Harvey said. “That’s when I knew I wanted dance to be a part of my life forever.”
Harvey’s love for dance developed eight years before her successful career at Cherry Creek High School. Now she has been dancing for over 14 years, and she’s not planning to stop anytime soon.
“I started dancing when I was 5 years old, so as long as I can remember, it has been my whole life. It is a core memory of mine while growing up,” Harvey said.
Since Harvey’s sophomore year of high school, she knew that dance was going to follow her into new chapters of her life. Her goal was to dance for a major college and be a strong dancer for her team. The first step in her journey was to make her dream team, of course–the Ole Miss Rebelettes.
“Throughout high school,” she said, “I came to Rebelette dance clinics and met all of the amazing coaches and dancers. I knew right away that this is where I wanted to dance.”
Just like any student-athlete, Harvey has a packed schedule filled with 6 a.m. workouts, afternoon classes and three-hour practices to end the days. Outsiders might wonder how she handles everything, but for Harvey, she wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I have made great connections with girls on my team and they have become my second home,” she said. “I see them every day and they have become some of my best friends. With such a busy schedule with dance and school, I am constantly on my feet. Being away from home hasn’t been bad because I’m doing something I love while in a place I love.”
Harvey doesn’t expect her dance career to end after college. She’s studying to earn an undergraduate political science degree and plans to move to New York for law school. Her new goal is to dance on Broadway and become a Radio City Rockette.
“I can’t imagine my life without dance,” she said. “It’s the way I express myself and it has brought so many great people into my life. I don’t think I can just give up dance after college. I want to live out my dreams in New York.”