Orono Dance Team Makes History


Taylor Effertz

The Orono Dance Team makes history at State!

Last month, the Orono Dance Team (ODT) competed in the MSHSL Dance Team State Tournament at Target Center. ODT is a AA team that competed in both the Jazz and High Kick categories; breaking Orono history by placing First for Jazz and Third for High Kick.

“When Jazz was announced as First-everyone was crying. I was so proud of the team and everything we had worked so hard for. It felt like all of our hard work had finally paid off. All the girls were hugging each other, and it was such a great experience,” ODT Senior Captain Alex Rapp said.

The dance team season is quite long, running from August to February, although it is split into Fall and Winter seasons. The team requires the dancers to practice for many hours every day after school. The time and commitment that the dancers put in, surely paid off.

In past seasons, Jazz has placed in State, but Kick has not. The competition was fierce and the criterion for scoring high makes it very difficult to out-dance the other teams.

“This was the first time that Kick had ever received a medal at state, so it was a huge deal, and everyone was overjoyed about it,” Rapp said.

For the 2023/2024 season, ODT will gain a new coach, as long-time Head Coach Sharon Forde retires. Forde has been a dance coach for 21 years with her last eight being at Orono, leaving behind her legacy at Orono.

“I’m hopeful that whoever coaches next year will take the team to the next level. I know all the girls on this team have so much potential and there are a lot of talented young dancers on the team,” OHS Senior Captain Summer Beatty said.

As the 2022/2023 ODT season comes to a close, the graduating dance team members end the historic season on a high note, after leading the team to state. As for the returning dancers, the OHS student body will look forward to another great dance team season in the Fall and Winter of 2023/2024!

*The 2023 Orono Dance Team Seniors: Alex Rapp, Ava Thompson, Mallory Smith, Stella Neubauer and Summer Beatty.