Dance Team Leaps Into Competition Season

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Summer Houck, Staff Writer

The West Salem Dance Team is leaping into a new season with their first competition on January 4th, 2020. The team has worked hard together this year to overcome obstacles in the way of their success. They had been perfecting their routines as well as helping one another to get where they need to be for their first competition against Prescott. 

Claire Shrader, the Dance Team coach, notes that “During competition season it is super important for the girls to stay positive,” said Shrader. “I think the biggest impact comes from the team leaders.” As the dance team captain, senior Haley Nelson is responsible for preparing the team for competitions. “I guide the team into competition season by giving advice that I have learned from previous years while being on the team,” said Nelson. “It can be difficult having to show up to practice every day with the constant mindset of a leader, but nonetheless, I am so proud of the team and how far we have come in preparation for our first competition in January.” Nelson brings advice to the dancefloor to help improve the team’s performance, but still faces everyday obstacles as one of the team captains. 

Obstacles include having only five returners from previous years on the team, and more than a handful of new dancers. The new dancers range from freshmen to seniors, and one sophomore dancer even came from the tumbling floors of competitive cheer. “I wanted to do a school sport and dance team seemed like something I would enjoy and maybe something I could be good at,” said new team member and cheerleader Aubrey Davis. “I’m preparing myself for the competition season by practicing the dances at home and trying my best to focus in practice and work hard.”

The girls have undeniably put their full effort into the season every day at practices on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The team recently designed and sold their fanshirts to the community, as well as designed their team competition half-zips. “Watching the team bond together during this time of the year is something special, and is extremely important,” said senior Hanna Kohlmeier. “The little things such as designing team apparel can be fun when doing it together, and it gets the whole team excited.” The team practiced tirelessly in hopes of placing well at their first competition.