Dance Team Kicks Off the Season


 West Salem Dance team has officially started their competition season, and they have kicked it off strong. On December 4th, they traveled to Ashwaubenon for their debut competition performance. They had previously performed at basketball games but never in front of judges or other teams. 

The team has been hard at work since June, but tryouts were even earlier, starting in May. They practiced hard over the summer in preparation for both of their competitions and football performances. They had two football routines, a pom routine, and a jazz routine to learn. In August, they held a dance camp, where the dancers came into the building at 7 am and left at 4 pm. During which they asked former coach, Liv Nelson, to come back to teach pom since she had choreographed it. They also had dance teacher Emilee Clifford come to a practice to help them improve their technique. The summer was a time of hard work for the dance team.  

Going into the fall, the team faced some challenges. Three members of the team decided not to participate in the sport. However, senior Katharine Horstman opted to stay through the football season. “I saw how hard it was to rework other dances after other members quit, so I thought it would be better for the team if I stayed for football. I also wasn’t ready to let go of the team, it was a very hard choice for me to make, even if it was for the best,” she explains. 

The football season went well for the team, including their homecoming performance in the gym as well as on the field. They also had a football routine choreographed by captains Aubrey Davis, Lexi Tomten, Destiny Hanson, and former captain, Kristin Knope. Along with the standard homecoming dance, senior members also choreographed the traditional “guy-girl” routine, where dancers perform a fun routine with a male partner at the homecoming pep rally. After a few more performances, the team was ready to move on to their competition season. 

Ashwaubenon was the dance team’s first competition, and they placed fifth in the pom’s category. “It was great being able to dance with my team at a real competition setting for the first time this year,” says senior Emma Brigson, “We worked super hard and we were all super happy with how it went.” The team also got voted “most spirited”, which gave them two trophies to come home with. They opted to not perform their jazz dance. 

Members of the team were also given the opportunity for small group performances or solos. Three soloists and one duet performed for a panel of judges. Teagen Dutton did both a solo as well as a duet with fellow sophomore Marissa King. Dutton’s dance to “Ashes” by Celine Dion earned her a spot in the top thirty. “I was not expecting to place at all so it felt so good when they called my name” she explained.  Junior Lexi Tomten and sophomore Payton Greer also competed with solos. Tomten performed to “You Are The Reason” by Calum Scott and Greer competed to “Unstoppable” by Sia, both performing well. 

Their next competition was originally on the 11th at Prescott but was canceled due to weather. Their next competition is the MVC competition on January 8th at Aquinas. They hope to see you there cheering.