Pulse: the Heartbeat of Prep


Sophia Magnano, Staff Writer

Prep loves their sports but the best reason to attend sports games and assemblies, of course, is Pulse. Pulse is the dance team that makes Prep students all want to dance right there with them, even though all the audience can do is chant and scream “pulse, pulse, pulse!” The team moves from one side of the gym to another, completely in sync with each other, mesmerizing the audience with their captivating choreography perfectly performed.

Everyone loves a great Pulse performance but what is the reason Pulse is such a talented team? Aara Meas, Pulse’s head coach, says it is because the team is “zoned in on openness, acceptance, and the ideology that dance is for everyone.”

She went on to say that “we see ourselves as a family, first and foremost. We work together, we fight for each other…sometimes with each other just like any other family, but at the end of the day, we have each other’s backs, we stand up for one another, and we always come back to the home that we created here at PULSE.”

The Pulse team is built upon strong values of “unity, commitment, and gratitude”, said Meas, adding that these values have “been the same since we started in 2007.”

Before 2007, Prep had a student-led dance team. The captains of the student-led Pulse team in 2007 were Clarize Baldoz ‘08 and Fantasia Galarosa-Krager ‘08. However, they were hungry for more, so they started Pulse. Mrs. Bei Bernal volunteered to be the new moderator. At the time Coach Meas was the captain of a youth group’s dance team, a freshman in college and she said she was, “hungry to share a dance.”  Bernal shared with Meas her new role as moderator for the new dance team at Prep and that they were on the lookout for a choreographer. Meas says, “we instantly connected and, as they say, the rest is history!”

In 2010, Pulse launched their first captains intensive, and shortly after in 2014 Pulse expanded from their genre of dance into ballet, contemporary, and acrobatics. And since then they have consistently added to their capabilities and achievements. The preceding year, 2015, the captains attended their first convention at Monsters of Hip Hop.

Monsters of Hip Hop is a platform to introduce up-and-coming dancers to an industry of professionals and potentially launch their dance careers. They received the opportunity of dancing with choreographers of “So You Think You Can Dance”, Missy Elliot, and JLo.

In 2016, Pulse performed for the first time outside of Prep at the Seattle Center’s Winterfest. Following that in 2017, 30 dancers traveled to California to dance at Disneyland. In 2019, Pulse assembled their first-ever competition team and won first place in both of their pieces in their categories and won first place overall for their age group.

Due to COVID in 2020, all performances were transitioned to video. Even with this drastic change to Pulse, Coach Meas said, “Over the last 2 years with the pandemic, we’ve been forced to think outside of the box, creatively speaking, so that we could continue to perform and be a positive beacon for our Prep community. We’ve learned how to conceptualize and perform for camera—developing skills in camera work, storyboarding, set design, light design, and editing.” In 2021, Pulse was able to perform for the first time since COVID in person at the back-to-school assembly in the fall.

Throughout the years, Meas says the team has “grown in numbers, in leadership, in creativity, in outreach, and family values.” Meas says the one thing that has remained consistent, however, is the team’s values, by continuing “to represent unity; one body, one rhythm, one pulse.”