Dance team’s goal is to win nationals

Dance team's goal is to win nationals

Sarah Loesch

Nationals are approaching for the dance team and with that comes its annual performance for friends and family in the Physical Activities Center.

The team performed its nationals routine Sunday after an alumni luncheon, and before a practice and their end of the year party. The day was full, but the dancers are excited for nationals and their performance said five-year team member Taylor Sisk.

Sisk said the excitement stems partly from the fact that the routine is different from anything the team has done in the past.

It differs from what the team does during its halftime performances and from what the team has done during its previous national competitions.

Sisk, who has participated in four national competitions during her time at  USI said, normally they do a routine that is more “sassy.”

This year, the performance is darker and has an element of ferocity that is not usually found in the team’s routines.  The music is tougher, and the costumes are designed to add, not detract from the performance.

“I think we are all just excited to go down there with something that is almost the complete opposite of what we have done in the past,” Sisk said.

Endurance comes as an obstacle in a dance with as much ferocity as the one the team had prepared and that is something coach Amanda Mueller said would be a focus in upcoming practices.

She said the endurance is 150 percent of the team’s routine.

They still have about week to practice and Mueller is hoping to see the same amount of improvement she saw last week.

“The improvement was huge,” Mueller said.

Preparation for the team’s national’s routine began last summer at around the start of the semester

The team hires a choreographer who looks at all of the previous performances and finds what worked and what did not.

It allows the team to figure out what the judges like and are looking for.

After the routine is prepared, the girls learn it for the first time before Christmas break and then try to run it twice a week during basketball season, but it is not something they can fully focus on.

They’ve been able to practice and now, after having performed the routine for an audience, are ready to head to Daytona, Florida Wednesday.

Sisk said the team is hoping to do as well as it can at finals, Mueller said she believes this is possible.

“Finals are definitely do-able,” she said. “Finals are our goal going into it, but once we make finals, obviously our goal is to win.”