You might call them South Florida’s very own version of the Rockettes. The Coral Gables High School Gablettes have been performing their high-kick routines at football games and events such as the Orange Bowl for years.
Now this elite team of dancers has a big anniversary to celebrate.
"The tradition of discipline, determination, being dedicated to something not quitting. That has carried on for 35 years," says Roseanna Karpiak. She was a member of the first ever Gablettes squad back in 1976 and later when on to coach the team for 18 years.
“More than winning the awards, (it’s) all the people you get to meet when we would do the Orange Bowl half-time shows. I think the friendships that you make with the students, then later they become your friends and also their parents, that's the thing I miss the most."
On May 13, Gablettes from years past came together in a special alumni celebration at the school as part of the team’s annual end of the year show, The Gablette Revue.
Bertha Lowell was a Gablette in the early 90’s and later coached the team until 2006.
“Not a lot of dance programs can say that they have survived 35 years worth of being successful, national championships, being able to accomplish everything the program's wanted to accomplish and we are grateful we get to celebrate it,” she said.
The Gablettes were originally put together to perform with the school’s marching band. They also performed at high school pep rallies and during half-time shows at football games. For years, the dancers also regularly appeared in the Orange Bowl parade.
According to Roseanna Karpiak, the team soon gained notoriety among other performers.
"Whenever anybody came into town and needed a bunch of dancers to learn choreography quick and that they're disciplined and they're going get it done with a smile on their face, they always came to Gables High," she said.
Adolfo Costa, the principal for Coral Gables Senior High is proud of the positive image the Gablettes continue to bring to his school.
“They are phenomenal,” he said. “They go out and they represent us in the community and nationally in a very positive light and we love them.”