May 18, 2022

Pacesetters Pastapalooza packs house

$1.5K raised will go towards nationals trip in February

An impressive performance at state and overwhelming support from the local community is helping take the Newton Pacesetters Dance Team all the way to nationals this coming February.

After receiving Division 1 ratings in all of their performances at state competition last month — second place in kick, fifth place in jazz and sixth place in pom – the Newton Pacesetters is fundraising its way to the Dance Team Union’s National Competition held Feb. 17 to 20 in Orlando, Fla.

The total cost of the trip, which involves paying for travel costs, hotel rooms, food, and every other expense, will cost the team about $30,000.

Due to the high costs, the 16-person team can only attend nationals every four years.

And with only a month to go until the team is set to head out, the Pacesetters have almost completed their fundraising efforts to pay for the trip.

“We try to give each member of the team the opportunity to participate in nationals at some point in their dance team career, but the trip is so expensive that we can only really justify going every four years,” Newton Pacesetters Coach Graham Sullivan said.

The Pacesetters have already organized several fundraisers past year. From an online SNAP campaign to their upcoming winter show, the team and their families have been slowly but surely pulling together the money.

To raise just a little bit more during this final month stretch, team members’ parents organized a “Pastapalooza” hosted Jan. 9 at Berg Middle School. The pasta dinner was sponsored by several Newton businesses, including Fareway, Olive ‘et Boutique, Panda Garden and many others.

“This whole thing was put together entirely by the team members’ families. They handled everything and I think it turned out great,” Sullivan said.

Teammates and volunteers served guests a meal of pasta, breadsticks, salad and a variety of desserts while showing off slideshows and the team’s recent collection of trophies. The team collected free-will donations at the door.

In the end, Pastapalooza raised just under $1,500, with 150 supporters attending the dinner.

But this does not mark the end of the Pacesetters’ fundraising efforts. In the coming weeks the team will be hosting two other fundraisers: Newton High School’s Winter Formal dance latter this month and the Pacesetters’ annual Winter Show at 6 p.m. Feb. 12.

“At the Winter Show we preform every routine we’ve learned this year, so I think it’ll draw in a good crowd,” Sullivan said.

After the Winter Show is complete the team wants to begin packing. Less than a week later the teams expects to be making its way to Orlando to represent Newton on a national stage.

“We have awesome routines and great talent on the team so I think we will have a good chance at bringing some trophies back to Newton,” Sullivan said.

Contact Abby Knipfel at 641-792-4687 ext. 6531 or

Abby Knipfel

Abby "Adler" Knipfel

Journalist at Newton Daily News. Currently covering Jasper County and writing passionate opinion pieces. They/Them