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Union Dance Team bring home hardware from State

December 7, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

The Union Dance Team took their hip-hop and novelty routines to the State Dance Competition at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines last week and walked away with second place with the novelty piece.

"The team went out on the floor for both routines and truly gave their best performances," coach Shelby Graveman said. "Stakes are high at state competition, the level of talent, competitive spirit, and intensity that you experience at state is off the charts. They definitely came to state to do their job, and it was a job well done."

Their novelty routine placed second, and according to Graveman had an awesome response from the crowd and judges. Novelty routines tell a story and showcase the development of the story. The beginning of "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince was the inspiration for the routine BS was included in their song mix for a wedding setting.

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"Everything else fell into place with the idea for a 'wedding gone wrong,'" Graveman said. "In novelty you showcase what your dancers are best at stylistically, so it was a great opportunity to show-off our hip-hop skills as well as some partner work and jazz elements."

For their hip-hop routine, the team received a Division I rating and are very pleased with the result. The mix was based around "Push It" by Salt-N-Peppa, with additions of other old school hip hop songs that complimented the era. Graveman loves old-school hip-hop and added "awesome" costume to the routine.

"Though we did not place in this category, which is one of the toughest at state competition, we definitely stood up to some very talented and large teams and went out and truly competed for high honors," Graveman said. "In the past we have always done themes with more of a serious or dark sort of theme to it, which brings the added intensity to hip-hop, so this year I wanted to do something that they could really have fun with."

And indeed the team had fun preparing and performing their routines on the biggest stage in the state. However, this was also the final trip to State for three seniors: Kinsie Murley, Olivia Sash and Camden Zeien. For Zeien, this year's routines were a perfect way to go out with her teammates and friends.

"I personally loved the routines we took to state this year because as individual dancers we were really able to put our own personalities into the dances and really have fun with it," Zeien said. "From being a senior this year I was really proud of my team, and how far we had come. I remember when I was a freshman I was so nervous and scared to compete at state but the upperclassmen then we're so supportive and motivating and I hope I did the same to the underclassmen and the new girls on the team."

Preparation for State begins at the beginning of the school year for the Union Dance Team. 15 members make up the competition team and they perform at football and basketball games over the season.



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