Before the sun comes up, a team with a storied history is already hard at work on the gym floor. Made up of 15 strong, hard-working girls, the team, coached by an alumni, perfects their moves in preparation for state competition.
The PCM Dance Team, under the direction of Morgan Steenhoek, will compete at the Iowa State Dance and Drill Team Association state competition Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena. After months of practice starting at 6 a.m., three to four days a week, the girls will show off their moves in hopes of bringing home their own state championship trophies.
“A lot of time, commitment and dedication is required to be a member of the dance team,” Steenhoek said. “Dance is a very technically demanding activity. It requires a lot of discipline, a hard work ethic and a very energetic personality.”
At the competition this year, the team will perform three routines: Pom to a “Get Loose” mix, novelty with an ice cream theme and hip hop. This will be the first competition of the year for the team, but not the first time it has shared their skills with the public.
“The team performs at various events throughout the year. Prairie Days and Monroe Old Settlers are typically our first performances of the ‘season,’” Steenhoek said. “We perform at Spirit Night and the school pep rally during homecoming week. Different sporting events including football, basketball and wrestling, and in late winter/early spring we always host our annual show that features all of our routines from the year.”
Every performance builds up to the main event, state contest, which is one of the largest dance competitions in the nation. It is headed by former Monroe Drill Team Director Kathy Enyart and sees thousands of routines from hundreds of schools throughout the two-day contest.
“This year we have 15 girls on the team. All 15 members perform during non-competitive performance,” Steenhoek said. “Competitive performances require a high level of technique, stamina and ability from the dancers. Competitive dancers are chosen based on their attitude, effort and ability to perform our competition routines at a higher level.”
Unlike some schools, members of the dance team are also involved in many other activities off the dance floor. From sports to theater, the girls stay busy when they aren’t moving to the beat.
“Most of our team members are involved in multiple other activities. Band, speech, basketball, track, FFA, the play, youth group, outside dance groups,” Steenhoek said. “I could probably make a very long list of the other activities the girls are involved in and it is one of my favorite things about living and coaching in this community.”
The annual show for the dance team is scheduled for Feb. 23 at the high school.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org