Nationals-bound!

Patriot varsity dance team heads to Orlando for national competition in February.

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Nationals-bound!

Members of the varsity dance team perform with boys for the Guy/Girl Dance.

Members of the varsity dance team perform with boys for the Guy/Girl Dance.

Sydney Stock

Members of the varsity dance team perform with boys for the Guy/Girl Dance.

Sydney Stock

Sydney Stock

Members of the varsity dance team perform with boys for the Guy/Girl Dance.

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Parkway South’s varsity dance team qualified for Nationals over the summer, and are attending the competition in Orlando, Florida during Feb. 1-3, which, according to team members Emma Ries and Jenna Prince, constitutes hours of hard work and dedication to the sport for the team this year.

In addition to qualifying for Nationals, the team was invited to the State Championships in Saint Charles, and competed at a Lindbergh Invitational. They were also invited to a competition in Farmington, Missouri. At their first competition, their talents shone through by placing 4th in jazz and 6th in poms. Although they’re doing well, the team is convinced they can do better, according to sophomore Jenna Prince.

“We plan to practice very hard and make changes to our dances based on the feedback we got from our last competition and what we think would work better for the dance,” said Prince.

Emma Ries, sophomore and returning member of the varsity team adds, “My team plans to challenge ourselves with tough choreography and to find our overall personal best as a team to bring to the dance floor.”

Prince says that one major setback the team faces this year is injuries, which are common for dancers, but with a team as small as varsity dance that only has 10 members, every injury is a challenge.

“Dancers get injured all the time and many of the people on our team have bad knees and hips; we also get more severe injuries over long periods of time,” said Prince.

Emma Ries also explains how the team has changed since last year.

“This year some major changes happened overall. Six seniors left and we had to reform a whole new team. Our overall environment has changed to a more hardworking one, but we try to be laidback and have as much fun as possible!”
The team as a whole holds many strengths that are highlighted by Prince.

“Our strengths are our positive and exciting energy. We are always the ones dancing during awards at competitions and we get other people to join too. We’re also working really well as a team and blend well together, which makes a positive difference when dancing,” said Prince.

However, Prince also explains that the team has a few weaknesses they need to work on before they compete.

“We could work on our stamina during competition dances, as finishing a super hard routine can be difficult and physically taxing,” she said.

Dance, unlike many other team sports, relies on synchronization in a routine, so both Ries and Prince agreed that there wasn’t really a “most valuable dancer.’

“We’re a team and we work off each other to become better,” said Ries.

However, Nicole Wilson, a sophomore and new member to varsity dance, said that the team captains Rylee Loescher and Valerie Tsukhai deserve recognition.

“Rylee has been on varsity for three years, and Valerie has been on varsity for 4 years. They help with a lot of our choreography and are valuable members of our team,” said Wilson.  

According to Ries, the most important aspect of dance this season was to not let not placing first to bring down the team.

“We need to become more confident within ourselves and not allow other teams make us feel like less worthy dancers. We want to keep positive mindsets this entire season,” said Ries.

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