Dancers delight judges; take home trophy trove

Samuel Davisson, Reporter

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  The Varsity Dance team has witnessed incredible success throughout much of its history.  This can be attributed to the hundreds of hours of work that dancers put in, as well as the family environment on the team, according to both team members and choreographers.

   “We practice from 3:15 to 5:30 every day, from June to February.  It’s a really long season compared to other sports,” said senior Emily Giese.

  While this amount of daily practice time is similar to other sports, the length of the dance season makes personal friendships and connections much more prevalent.

  “We [Giese, Lauren Rothamer, and I] all run track.  I feel like track is a lot more individualized. Dance is a lot more team oriented,” said sophomore Kaylee Rajek.

 Many of the girls on the team have been dancing with each other for years, contributing to their friendship.

  “I was in musicals when I was younger.  I met Emily, and she told me about the studio she danced at and I tried it out,”  said senior Lauren Rothamer.

  In addition to lengthy daily practice, competition days can be very long as well.

  “Other sports don’t normally compete on weekends.  When we do, it’s somewhere around a 12 hour day,” said Rajek.

  Before any of the girls can learn the routines and compete, the choreography has to be created.  Mrs. Renee Bucholz, the Pom and High Kick routine choreographer, has been working with the D.C. Everest dance team for 12 years.

  “Music is definitely the biggest challenge.  I listen to a lot of Spotify and that gives me ideas.  I look for a piece with a lot of energy,” said Mrs. Bucholz.

  Once music has been selected, dance moves must be chosen to fit with the counts of the song.  Mrs. Bucholz says that after over 20 years of coaching she has “found things, like any coach, that just work,” to complete this task.

  During the time the girls spend together, they also form bonds with their choreographers.

  “I think there’s a genuine closeness between each other and the coaches.  They want all of us to be our best selves and they all want the best for us,” said Rothamer.

  “I would say my connection is pretty close, not just on a coach level, but a personal level.  I feel like I can trust them when I’m not just with the dance team,” Rajek said.

  The dance team’s success has not been limited to the past few years.  Mrs. Bucholz recalls the team’s performance from years ago.

  “They made it to State the year before I started, and got sixth place in jazz and fourth in pom that year,” said Mrs. Bucholz.

  Despite already having high standards, the team hopes to be even more successful.

  “Being a senior, it’d be a great way to go out winning State this year.  We’ve been successful so far this season. If we keep working hard toward our goals, I think we’ll be successful,” said Giese.

  Choreographers say that teamwork and strategy are what will get the team to their goals.

  “We strategize and try to get better like any sports team.  We are still a group, and it’s very competitive-we’re always watching other teams to see what works, to get as many points as possible,” said Mrs. Bucholz.

  Winning the State Championship appears to be a goal everyone on the team has.

   “This year I’m hoping for us to win State, or the top three.  In future years I want to see us grow as a team, and hopefully pull out some State championships,” said Rajek.