Dance team keeps school spirits high despite COVID-19 effects

LexiKetcham

Dance, unlike many other sports, requires team synchronization, especially in high school dance teams where dancers are trained to look unified. Without every dancer physically in their formation, the whole picture of the routine can look unclear. 

This goal met with the obstacles of Zoom and social distancing has made it difficult for the Marian dance team to perfect their dances to the best of their ability. Those who are quarantined have been practicing at home through Zoom; however, challenges arise without dancers physically at practice and in their formations. 

“It’s difficult to hear and see what is going on over video because every practice is different and every dancer is different. Practices that we have completed have to be redone because we simply have to,” Marian dance team coach Chelsea Vorland said. 

Like the other sports teams at Marian, the dance team is unable to travel out of state and has limited competitions and performances. Mask protocols, disinfecting and social distancing protocols have been set in place to maintain the team’s season.

The activities directors from the Metro Conference schools have been communicating on decisions to keep students safe. Marian then makes their decisions based on this information to keep the Marian community healthy, and so those in the Conference have similar expectations wherever they go.

“Our student athletes and their parents have been very grateful for the opportunity to be in school and to have the opportunity to compete this fall. Some students in our area did not get that opportunity,” Athletic Director Ms. Rochelle Rohlfs said.

Because of travel restrictions, the dance team is no longer able to attend some competitions including nationals in Orlando, Florida in Feb. 2021. Since many other teams have decided to stay in Nebraska, the decision was made to not attend nationals in order to keep the dance team, their families and the Marian community safe. 

Junior Kysa Holmstrom is upset by the news, but realizes it gives the team more time to focus on school spirit. “My favorite part of nationals is not only performing with my team members and showcasing our hard work, but also being able to go to the [Disney World] parks and creating memories with the team. It allows us to grow closer and create a stronger team bond,” Holmstrom said. 

Despite the challenges, the dance team has not let that get in the way of working hard to have the best year possible. Dancers have been working hard in and out of practice knowing the amount of performances they have this year are limited.

 “We have seen a drive from dancers. Each dancer has faced their own challenges, but each practice we see more dedication and growth, not only individually, but as a team,” Vorland said.

Although the team is not working toward nationals, they have not given up on their routines as they work for other performance opportunities including State in Grand Island this Feb., Marian basketball games and other competitions and performances for Omaha dance teams. 

“I’ve noticed that although we’re upset, we haven’t let that get in the way of our hard work. As we prepare for our performance in December, we have been putting as much effort into practices as we normally would, if not more,” Holmstrom said.

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