Dance Team Prepares for First Competition in Five Years

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Dance Team Prepares for First Competition in Five Years

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This year is Westside dance team’s first year competing in a state dance competition in five years and the girls are devoting all their time and energy into one routine to show the judges. The team has been going to three hour Sunday morning practices to run their routine over and over again to prepare for the competition. The state competition is on Feb. 15 in Grand Island, NE where they will be competing in the Class A division.

“The one [we went] to Sunday [Jan. 13] at Skutt, [was]  just kind of like a ‘let’s try this and see how it goes since we’ve never done this before’ and that’s going to hopefully give us some really good feedback before we go to state dance,” said the Dance Team Coach Lisa Butler.

Butler said the team had gone to a small dance competition hosted by Skutt to prepare them for state. They were expecting good feedback on what they could improve on for state.  They won first place with their dance choreographed by Fran Xavier, a choreographer from Nebraska Dance. According to sophomore Abby Starlin, the team and coach are new to the world of high school dance competitions. They have only prepared one dance routine to focus on since it’s all new to them.  

“Considering that this is our first year, winning is not a top priority for us,” said sophomore Abby Starlin. “We just want to go and get the experience, and it’s not really about the trophy it’s about going there and trying something new and doing the best that we can.”

Performing for the school and for judges are both very different things.  

According to team members, performing for the school is more fun since their job at football games is to pump up the crowd and get the student section excited. However, team members say that in a dance competition the girls have to focus on nailing every turn and making sure they are dancing to the the best of their ability because one mistake from one girl can bring the chance of winning down for the whole team. Team members say that this is why why they have to know the score sheet and practice dancing to the expectations of the judges.  Starlin said that competitions are very high stress events and it can be a very long day for everyone involved.

“If you look at the score sheet it’s like how synchronized are they?” Butler said. “Is the choreography unique? Is it creative? Basically do they perform as one? The judges rank them on a skill of 1 to 10 on those different things.”

The team this year is anxious yet excited for the competitions since they can all experience it together as a team and go through a new experience with friends.  

“Our team this year is a lot more technically advanced than we were last year,” said junior Brooke Hopkins. “We thought that it would just be something fun to do and since we haven’t done it in five years we just wanted to do it again.”


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