Dance Team’s Season Kicks Off

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Dance Team’s Season Kicks Off

Sharon Forde

Sharon Forde

Sharon Forde

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The dance team’s season officially started in the beginning of November, and kicked off with a bang. With new freshman talent joining the team, the captains and coaches were hopeful they would find success similar or greater to that from the 2017 season. The team that year made it to the state competition in high kick and jazz, but did not place in the top five overall.

The Orono dance team is composed of two varsity teams, one kick line and one jazz team, and JV teams in both categories. Teams perform separately, having two different routines and two different costumes. It is possible to place in one event while not placing in the other.

Practicing for nearly three hours every day and waking up early on weekends to compete, shows the determination and drive the team has. In the sport of dance, judging can come down to a to a close margin, which subconsciously could be tipped in the judges’ minds if a team is known for having a strong reputation. ODT want to improve and work to gain status as a program, so they are seen as a powerhouse in the rankings of Minnesota dance.

“We have worked really hard so far this season which has paid off in our first two competitions. I am proud of everyone’s dedication to the team and look forward to the rest of the season with my teammates,” senior captain Maddix Grady said.

We have worked really hard so far this season which has paid off in our first two competitions. I am proud of everyone’s dedication to the team and look forward to the rest of the season with my teammates”

— Maddix Grady

Their second competition of the season brought even more success than the first, as both varsity and JV jazz teams danced their way to first place, and varsity kick placed second after earning a tying score for first place. These achievements came just days after the team had to make adjustments to their formations, one of the crucial elements of any dance.

“This past [competition] our team saw the potential we had and both our kick and jazz routine. We all motivated each other and put in a lot of time and work and it all paid off hearing our name get called for first in jazz and second in kick. It was a moment for the season I won’t forget,” sophomore Carson Bunkers said.

A team as strong as this one can only be found when there is a bond on and off of the dance floor. They spend a lot of time together dancing, but also have many friendships that extend beyond dance. This is one of the most tight-knit teams at Orono, and could be the key to finding great success this season.

“The dynamic of this team is like something I’ve never been a part of or seen for any other sport. There’s a bond between girls of all grades when we’re on and off the floor. I’ve made some of my best friends on this team and am so lucky to know they are all always there for me,” Bunkers said.

Many of the returning dancers do their part in welcoming the freshman into the team. Although there is a sense of family among the returners, the community that ODT has built is one thing that draws many girls onto the team.

“I love everyone and the freshman are dope, we spend so much time together like literally all week and I’m surprised we don’t get more sick of each other,” junior Josie Peterson said.

The team will compete through the winter season, with the state competition taking place on February 15 and 16.

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