After the departure of seniors−and captains−Alyssa Zadel, Rielly Nehls, Lindsey Lunt, and Maddie Musgraves, a new role of leadership was opened up to the returning members of the FHC varsity dance team. For the 2019-2020 season, the responsibility of captain was elected to seniors Courtney Collar and Joelie Havey.
Other members of the team including juniors Julia Kirkman, Morgan Mittlestadt, Molly Vonk, and Grace Pennington also have a strong influence on the leadership and responsibility that is required to lead a team that has welcomed many new underclassmen onto it this season.
With that being said, the new season has brought with it a lot of new freshmen; but talent has returned through the veteran sophomore members. Sophomores Avery Jordan and Abby Drueke are both veterans of the team and are ready to participate for another year in the high school program.
New talent onto the team includes sophomore Alexa Parent. The members of the dance team have a level of closeness that few teams can match, and this fact is one of the reasons why Alexa decided to try out for the team.
“I love dance because of the team aspect as well as being able to create a close bond with my teammates,” Alexa said.
During the 2018-2019 season, the girls were able to put on a show all season at competitions and then make an impressive run at nationals in Orlando. The team took three dances to NDA nationals−pom, hip hop, jazz−and ended up placing 17th in the nation in the medium varsity jazz division.
The team holds a goal to perform even better this season at the national tournament: scoring in the Top 8 in at least one of the three dances they take to Orlando. Avery is anticipating the team’s return to nationals, and she is enthusiastic regarding the opportunity to have another chance to compete at such a challenging level.
“I am especially excited about bonding with my new team at nationals,” Avery said. “It is such a privilege to go to nationals on an off-year, so I can’t wait to make the best of it with my friends and coaches.”
The girls will continue to relentlessly train for perfection in order to achieve their goals. The team is extremely dedicated and capable of thriving at the highest level of dance team competition that there is.
“My main goal for the season is to always try my absolute hardest,” Molly said. “I will consistently work hard because that can lead to other goals like scoring well at regional competitions and scoring well at nationals.”
Head coach Jazzae Ford shares similar goals as Molly such as the team scoring well at nationals, and Ford agrees with Alexa regarding the fact that the girls sharing a bond as well as being a cohesive unit are both essential for their success at regional competitions and on the nationals stage.
“Our team is so much bigger this year than in past years, and we have six rookies, which is a lot,” Ford said. “So, my general goal for the team is for the team to grow an unbreakable bond that allows them to dance as one on the floor. I want them to also end the year stronger in technique and performance so each dancer feels more prepared to dance at the collegiate level. I would love the team to be able to place at nationals in February and to keep their Grand Champion status at one of our yearly competitions: the St. Johns Invitational.”