After graduating five seniors in 2019, the Baxter Dance Team is working with a smaller crew as they prepare for state competition. With two routines, a pom and a navy themed novelty, the girls are putting the final touches before the competition Dec. 5.
“Being part of the dance team takes a lot of dedication,” coach Amanda Pierce said. “This isn’t just a one season sport but rather a three season sport to almost year round. We normally have tryouts in the spring and then start practice shortly after that.”
The seven member squad hits the floor by 6 a.m. for practice multiple times a week in preparation for the competitions. Dance isn’t the only activity these girls are involved in, either, from cheerleading, speech and band to cross country and basketball, they are busy from before sun up to after sun down. They have also taken a stronger ownership in their routines by choreographing the dances themselves.
“This year we are doing things a little different in that all but one dance this year has be choreographed by the girls,” Pierce said. “These girls have so much talent and they wanted to take ownership of the dances so I let them. They have done an amazing job at it, too.”
On the big day, the girls will perform their pom routine at 11:18 a.m. in Hy-Vee Hall and novelty number at 4:12 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. For 44 years, the Iowa State Dance and Drill Team Association has hosted the largest state high school dance competition in the nation with more than 250 teams and more than 5,000 dancers performing more than 600 routines throughout the two day event. More than 20 college team from throughout Iowa have also competed at the event the 14 years.
After months of hard work, the girls will get their time to shine on the biggest stage. Following state, the team will also compete at Midwest Competition at Southeast Polk High School in January. The year will wrap up with the annual show on Feb. 15.
“The girls will be performing most of not all the dances from this year,” Pierce said. “This will include dances we have performed at half time at football and basketball games.”
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org