Dance season kicks into high gear
During the course of the winter sports season, it may be a common occurrence to see the Kasson-Mantorville dance team come out during halftime of a basketball game or other sporting event. While many come to see the dancers kick their way through a routine, it can be assumed that their routine is the pinnacle of their participation in the sport.
However, that’s not just true as the dancers continue their craft spending three hours a day in the gym and participating in weekly competitions. It’s one of the major reasons why the K-M dance team is so passionate and dedicated about their sport.
“There’s a great passion,” K-M dance coach Karen Besch confirmed. “There has to be with the amount of time that we put into the gym.”
“We work just as hard as some of the other sports,” K-M dance captain Alyssa Cutshall added. “We have the same passion as someone who plays on something like the football team and puts the same amount of time that any of the other sports put in.”
The dance team got their competitive season underway last week with a trip to Burnsville, but the majority of the work had started just a couple weeks ago as a third of the team can contribute in arranging the choreography that goes with a routine. With that comes certain guidelines to follow such as including 40 to 60 high kicks above the waistline in unison for a kick routine.
“We have some very creative dancers that can come up with several different elements,” Besch explained. “We’re talking about different pieces of choreography that involves some of the combination of those kicks.”
There’s also a need for a theme that can turn a strong routine into a masterpiece. This year’s theme will be a Star Wars inspired piece that will hopefully send the judges into a frenzy.
“It’s a major risk,” Besch said of the Star Wars theme. “But, you want to do that because it’ll generate a bigger reaction if it succeeds. It’s better to go big than to just play it safe.”
That’s where the hours of practices come in to make sure that the dancers deliver a flawless performance until they use halftime of a sporting event as their version of a scrimmage. From there, they can make the adjustments needed to execute when the judges are watching to grade in kicks, execution, choreography, difficulty and routine effectiveness.
Points are awarded on a 10 point scale with 10 being superior and one being very poor with each judge’s score sheet worth 100 points. The highest and lowest scores are dropped and then the remaining scores are added to determine a ranking