by Katherine Martin
If you have seen two sassy fashionistas walking out the front doors of Marian around 7:40 in the morning, you have seen dance team’s new coaches, Sarah Diego and AbbyJo Luquette. AbbyJo Luquette and Sarah Diego joined forces to completely reshape the Marian dance team this school year.
“Everything about working for Marian has been more than I could ever imagine! I was so excited to move home to Omaha and meet my new team. Marian has created an amazing atmosphere for young women to grow and learn as well as provide as many opportunities as possible. I am so thankful for the support I have received from the school as a new coach. I am honored to get to work with 25 amazing dancers. Their spirit is what keeps me awake for those 6 am practices and the main reason I love being their coach,” Luquette said.
This year, the coaches decided it was time to have a regular varsity team that would perform at halftime events and pep rallies and a select team that would compete at State, Regionals and Nationals. The varsity team consists of 25 girls, and the select team is a group of 12 girls; the select girls are also part of the varsity team.
“Having new coaches senior year is definitely not something I thought would happen. Getting to be acquainted with new people and their coaching style, and having two new coaches during my last year in dance team makes it even harder, because by the time I finally get to know both AbbyJo and Sarah, I will be graduating. But both of them are amazing and I love them,” senior Megan Rutten said. The dance team has had plenty of time to bond with the new coaches while tackling many new events this year including a Universal Dance Association, also known as UDA Camp.
UDA camp is a good way for dance teams to really get to know each other and the other teams in Nebraska, while also competing and hoping for a bid to Nationals. The Marian dance team had not been to a UDA camp since the 2009-10 school year. “I loved camp, especially when the team dressed up as The Cheetah Girls for the fun costume night and the UDA staff loved our costumes,” sophomore Adrianna Krueger said.
The dance team really bonded at camp over a planned prank on Coach Luquette. The team decided to sneak into the coaches room, with the help of Coach Diego, to take all of AbbyJo’s belongings, and take apart her bed and move them to a new room so when she returned she had nothing. The team thought it was hilarious until AbbyJo decided to prank them back. AbbyJo talked to the UDA staff and planned a prank that involved the staff yelling at them for the prank and taking away their beloved spirit stick. It was a very cruel prank and a few girls on the team even cried when the spirit stick was taken. That was when the team knew that this was more of a family than a dance team.
One of the big changes Marian has slowly been transforming into becoming a competition team, which has been a big change. A good way to get a feel for the competitions while having fun with other schools was at the Millard North Dance and Cheer Showcase. The showcase was for teams to show off their routines for state. Marian performed at the Showcase on Sunday, Nov. 5.
If you would like to come see dance team in action, come see them at the They will be competing at Nationals on February 1st through the 5th. At the State Competition in Grand Island on February 17. On January 6, the dance and cheer teams are holding a workshop for young girls interested in the two programs at Marian.