Dancers dominate Nationals

Varsity dance team earns first; JV and Eaglets place top five


Courtesy photo and caption Alexis Urbano Hand in hand with their 1st place gold trophy, the varsity dance team celebrate their title as the national champions. The team worked throughout the entire season on their routine and their hard work paid off. “It’s bittersweet and I feel very sad that it is over,” senior varsity captain Jordan Temple said. “But I am very happy it happened, it was definitely very nice to go out on a win.”

Peparation for the largest competition of the season came to a close when the JV and Varsity dance teams made their way down south to leave their heart on the floor.

“Training for Nationals was very intense. It is a lot of practice time and a lot of mental commitment that you have to endure,” senior Varsity captain Jordan Temple said. “But, I feel like the support system and team that I have right now made it very easy for us all just to bond together and push through it.”

The competition took place at the ESPN World Sports Complex on Feb. 4-5 in Orlando, Fla. Teams from across the nation came together to compete for a chance at a national champions title.

“We were really excited,” Temple said. “We had practiced very hard, so I felt like we were ready to go. We had a routine and we were just really excited to get out there.”

In the preliminary round, varsity placed first in both their jazz and hip-hop routines; which allowed them to skip semi-finals and leap straight to finals. Their competition came to an end on the awards stage with a first place in hip hop and second in medium jazz.

“My personal goal was just to go out there, do our best, keep elevating our routine and making it better every single time,” Temple said. “We definitely did that.”

Following Varsity, the JV team took first place for their pom routine and fifth for jazz at semi-finals. They continued their fight through finals where they earned fourth place for pom and fifth place for jazz.

“I kind of feel like a celebrity out there,” sophomore JV dancer Elmarisa Hayden said. “I think we are really known because we place a lot. We’ve had people come up to us and ask us for pictures.”

With an entire change over in program coaches, both teams were faced with the challenge of redirecting their team dynamics; yet they upheld the reputation of the program.

“Proving everyone wrong was a goal for us because we had new coaches this year and a new and different team. We tried to switch up our style,” junior Varsity dancer Mia Wrobel said. “So, a lot of people didn’t believe in us and it’s a big thing that kept us motivated.”

Despite the pressures of taking over such a prestigious dance program, Varsity coach and alumna Maria Chodnicki lead her team to victory.

“It was a surreal moment getting to see them finally perform on the big stage that they’ve been working so hard all season for,” Chodnicki said. “It’s been really cool to see them all grow as dancers this year.”

With Nationals under their coveted white jackets for the season, the new era of IKE dance teams is just getting started.

“I feel like we really raised the bar high my first year with this team,” Chodnicki said. “So it’s going to be really fun to continue to try to top our dances every year and do better than we did before.”