Dance team members compete in state pageant

courtesy of Natalie Walsh

Emma Eldred

Competing for a chance to represent Minnesota at the national competition in Los Angeles, California, freshman Katie Segner and junior Natalie Walsh participated in the Miss Dance Team Minnesota pageant on Sunday, October 31.

The pageant, held at Eastview High School each fall, allows all of the dancers to perform an original choreographed routine in hopes of taking home the title of “Miss Dance Team Minnesota.” “It’s a competition for anyone on a dance team in Minnesota to compete in, but you have to be a junior or senior to win,” said Segner.

There are two categories available to the competitors depending on their eligibility and preference. The “Best of Minnesota” category (open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors) is judged on a solo dance alone. The “Miss” category (required for all seniors, but optional for juniors) is judged on a solo dance, a modeling display of technical skills and a short interview.

BSM’s fall dance team coach and director of the MDT pageant, Jenny Raiche, suggested the idea of competing to Walsh and Segner earlier this year, and they gladly accepted. “My coach asked me, and I didn’t see any reason not to,” said Walsh.

Walsh and Segner, both previously dancers at the Summit Dance Shoppe studio, asked some of their old teachers to help them when it came to choreographing their solo routines. “I’ve had practice twice a week to work on my dance and two different teachers work with me to get feedback,” said Segner.

Although both of the girls have been performing and competing their entire lives, they were both anxious as they prepared for the competition. “I’m really nervous and excited. I’ve been apart of a team since I was two, but I’ve never danced alone in front of an audience,” said Walsh.

Segner, on the other hand, competed in many solo competitions before she became a Knightette. As a fifth grader, Segner went to the Showbiz national competition where she received the “Firecracker” award for having the most energy.

With their family and friends lost in the crowd, Walsh and Segner teamed up and were inseparable on the day of the competition. “Natalie was so helpful. She drove me everywhere, she was supportive, and she was always there for me,” said Segner.

Both girls received high scores, and Segner took second place in the “Best of Minnesota” category among the freshmen and sophomores. This qualifies her to be apart of “Team Minnesota” and compete at the national competition. She will dance as a part of the team and compete with a solo routine.

All of their hard work having paid off, Walsh and Segner are proud of their performances and hope to compete again next year. “It was a really different experience that was challenging, but totally worth it in the end,” said Walsh.