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The Auroran Today

Pom to State

The dance team left for state last Thursday, but not many people are aware of the hard work and preparation that has gone into their journey to state.

The Muscatine Dance Team was off to state last week, and there has been a large amount of preparation for the team leading up to their big day. Hours and hours of practice and performance have been put in by all members, but the time has finally come to see it pay off.

A few members of the dance team shared what it has been like in the last few months working towards their goals for the state championship.

For a competition as large as ISDTA, a lot of hard work has to be put in by the entire team for success to occur. Some of the ways the dance team has been preparing for their state debut include extensive practices and performances, such as competing at various competitions with their routines. 

With each competition, the team has grown stronger and the routines have become more polished due to the team’s ability to recognize mistakes, and fix them for the better of the group. After the team’s performance at the Dance Team Union in early November, members acknowledged their mistakes and adapted their routines to become cleaner and more technical.

A lot of this responsibility not only falls on the coaches but also their second-in-commands, the Seniors. Senior member, Lauren Audas, shared some of the responsibilities she and others have taken on this year.

“As Seniors, we kind of have to help organize different things and make sure people have what they need for competitions and answer any questions that we can, to take a little less pressure off the coaches,” explained Lauren.

Another responsibility for the Seniors is carrying on long-standing traditions to the groups to come. Each of these traditions holds a certain purpose for the team and its success.

Before competitions, the team usually motivates each other with a team circle before going on stage, where each member puts their pointed foot in the middle of the circle while standing next to other teammates. Mainly pep talks go on during this time. 

“We remind each other of things to remember in the dance, and say uplifting things to get everyone ready to go on the floor,” said Audrey Bird, a Freshman on the pom team.

Alannah Dolan also mentions the tradition of dressing up the day they leave, and later they have a team dinner with the coaches at the Cheesecake Factory. After their dinner, they take a cute photo in front of the Christmas tree at the Des Moines mall to mark the beginning of the journey at state.

Having good competition etiquette along with their practice etiquette is important to keep the pom team morale well, especially when representing the school.

“We support other teams. It’s really encouraging to support them, cheer, and watch the other dances. If we notice they have done a really good job and we see them later we usually let them know how great it was,” said Audas.

Not only does the team strive to support others, but many other teams of the state also contribute to being positive and cheering other teams at the competitions.

“People are really encouraging and supportive even if they’re your competition. If you see something that looks really clean and sharp, you want to let them know because it is a really good feeling to know that you did well,” said Audas. 

The members of the team also deal with having to take some losses during their competing season, but the team generally learns from the loss and makes improvements prior to competitions and setting goals for next year’s competitions. 

“It’s a common trend for us to be a little bit later when we are perfecting our dances, so some of the competitions we don’t do that well, but they are really important to show us what we can fix and what we need to work on so we can be the best at state. Those competitions really help us,” said Dolan.

Chloe Gundrum, a Sophomore on the pom team, also expresses that it is good for the team to continue to make the routines better because as a team they will grow from the mistakes, keep improving, and make sure they are the best the team can be.  

“I think we have been working really hard, these last few weeks especially. We have put in a lot of hours and the team has really come together and I think we’re prepared now,” said Audas.

The team enjoyed spending time together as they rounded out the journey to state. Interviewees also shared one last good luck with their teammates in hopes all of their hard work would pay off in the end.

The Muscatine Dance Team competed their class 14 pom and their class 3 kick routines at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday, December 1.

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About the Contributors
Hayden Cortez
Hayden Cortez, Writer
Hayden is a Junior at MHS this year. She is on the dance team and student council as well. She is excited to be a part of the Newspaper team this school year for the first time. Go Muskies!!
Hadley Hines
Hadley Hines, Writer
Hadley is a first-year member of The Auroran Today and is very excited for the year. In her free time, you will catch her dancing as a varsity member of the MHS Dance Team, and as a competitive dancer at River City All-Stars!
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