The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The second go-around

Competition dance team heads to Orlando for NDA nationals for the second year in a row, carries experience from last year to bring a stronger performance
Emily Rich
The varsity dance team performs the jazz section of their team performance at their winter showcase.

The varsity and junior varsity dance teams head to Orlando, Florida on Tuesday to compete in the NDA High School National Championships. The team had a run at a national title last year for the first time, and now they are looking for a comeback against teams from all over the country.

Junior Sarah Hendrix is a part of the varsity dance team and believes that the experience the team gained last year at the national competition has better prepared their expectations and mindsets for this year.

“Last year, all of our team was new to the national competition so we were almost going in blind,” Hendrix said. “But now our team has experience with the circuit and we know how better to prepare for the teams we will see at the competition.”

Preparation for the event began all the way back in June with choreography and drilling their routines during practices, but this time of year is when the team will look to dial up their intensity.

“To prepare for nationals this year, we’ve made sure that we’ve been keeping up with our training outside of our normal practice times through technique classes,” sophomore Zoie Pfeffer said. “Also using our time during practice together to our best advantage is important to the cleanliness of routines.” 

In order to perform well at competitions, Hendrix believes that the bond the team has fostered through their time together plays a major role in their success as regional champions and working toward the national title. 

“We have a uniquely close team that is very visible on the floor when we’re competing,” Hendrix said, “Our bond plays a major role in our performances as on the floor we can communicate and push each other to do our best when the routines get difficult stamina-wise.”  

Aside from their successes, both groups have struggled wholly with burnout and a low morale. The teams have had a gap since their last competition in January, which has caused dancers to struggle with motivation. 

“To overcome this midseason funk, we constantly are trying to lift everybody up, pumping each other up before every run and giving pep talks,” Pfeffer said. “When you believe in your teammates and your teammates believe in you, that’s when progress begins to happen. This mixed with more hard work is how we were able to get back on track and get our eyes set back on that national trophy.”

The team has been able to refocus and push their limits in practice. With the common goal of winning nationals, Hendrix said a win would be a way for the team to gain recognition and would allow for a great ending to the season.

“To me, and I’m sure most of my teammates would agree, a nationals win would feel like all of our hard work has paid off,” Hendrix said, “We’ve really pushed ourselves this year in terms of stamina and motivations, and I think that hearing our names announced as national champions, being paired with the champion jackets would be the most rewarding and grand conclusion to our season.”

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