Waukee Varsity Dance Team: Huge Success at Midwest Regionals
The Waukee Varsity Dance Team had a huge success at Midwest Regionals in Bloomington, Minnesota on January 10. The team finished second in Pom, second in Hip Hop and sixth in Jazz in the large school category. Beating several national top ten competitors from last year’s season!
After finishing first in Pom, second in Hip Hop and fourth in Jazz at State, the team was excited to see how they would compare to some of the best teams in the Midwest.
Allie Kirk, who is in her second year as Head Dance Coach, is incredibly proud of this year’s team.
“This season has been phenomenal. The team has both seasoned athletes as well as girls who are new to the team. I have enjoyed watching them come together and work super hard to accomplish both small and large goals as a team. I am most proud of the leadership skills demonstrated by our captains, Emily Howard and Maddie Pals, the work ethic in each practice and the cohesiveness of the team. They are there to work hard but also make me laugh each day,” Kirk said.
The girls have an athletic book study that they discuss together, which allows them to implement new strategies into their workouts and team routines. The girls run, condition, lift and practice often just like any other sport, as well as dance and workout outside of the team. This year’s team motto is “give your best, forget the rest.”
Emily Howard, one of two seniors and captains on the team, has been dancing since she was three years old.
“In elementary school, I dreamed of being on this team. Now to be one of its two captains is unreal. I absolutely love this team and would do anything for these girls. We have to put our teammates before ourselves and I enjoy being there for the girls who come to me whenever they need something. I will truly miss everything about this team. Dancing at State, Regionals and Nationals gives you a feeling unlike anything else. I honestly don’t know what I will do with my time once dance team is over because it has consumed my life for the past three years!” Howard stated.
With one of the longest seasons, June through March, the Varsity Dance Team works tirelessly to maintain their record season finishes.
The next step is preparing for the National Dance Team Championship, which will be held in Orlando, Florida in February. While the team has been preparing for Nationals for quite some time, they are focusing on pushing past their exhaustion, motivating one another and working towards the strongest finish possible this season. The team will continue to practice ten hours every week and perform at all basketball game half times. In order to prepare for Nationals, the team will work on new choreography, conditioning, techniques and strengthening their routines.
“Coaching each of these eighteen young ladies has been my greatest accomplishment. I cherish each practice that I get to spend with such talented, hard-working athletes. I not only get to foster their love for dance but also get to watch and encourage them to become confident and beautiful young women. It is an honor to be their coach,” Kirk said.