Dance team competes for hardware in State Jazz and Kick Tournaments

The bar is set high for the Knightettes as they prove to be a strong contender once again for another state title. Under the leadership of senior captains Natalie Chevalier, Kendel Malcolm, and Margaux Brink and coaches Sarah Johnson and Sam Cameranesi, the BSM dance team will participate in the State Jazz and Kick Tournaments, on February 13 and 14 at the Target Center.

Winning a State title is no doubt a difficult task, but winning it two years in a row is even harder. The Knightettes, however, have won seven State titles in program history and have proven to live up to their reputation. “As long as we keep putting in the effort and working on our routines to make them as perfect and in sync as possible, we can make it to State again and win,” junior Livy Lange said.

The dancers have been preparing all season long with three-hour practices, five days a week for five months. The practices vary from conditioning to learning new dances. The high impact cardio––ranging from sprints, jumping, and step aerobics––is hard for any athlete, but prepares the team extremely well for competitions. “We’re constantly pushing our girls to be a step further ahead from the previous practice. The State Tournament will have some great competition, but I believe this group of girls has more talent and dedication for the sport which will put them one step ahead of our opponents,” Cameranesi said.

With long practices every day, the dance team naturally exposes itself to fatigue, exhaustion, as well as injuries, which can range from concussions to sprained ankles to back problems. Junior Bailey Adams has been injured for the majority of the season with a pulled hip flexor but has never stopped working to help support the team. “It’s hard watching the people you love doing the thing you love, but I have to just work to get better and support my girls,” junior Bailey Adams said.

Varsity team members range from eighth to twelfth graders, and the diversity of the ages sets this sport apart from other sports and activities. The girls bring a different type of atmosphere, with each Knightette showing something new to the table and encouraging new choreography. Sophomore Cici Fortney has been on the varsity dance team since she was a freshman, and while she has several useful skills that benefit the team, she is still learning what it takes to become a successful Knightette. “Right now, I feel like I’m in the middle of the team. I can help the younger members, yet from the older members I’m still learning the ropes of the team,” Fortney said.

So far this year the Knightettes have not placed lower than second in all of their meets. With all the preparation, the dream of winning the State title is the only thing on the Knightettes’ minds. “I believe this group of girls has the talent, confidence, patience, and love for the sport to earn another state title. The title is calling and they are ready to answer. I expect great things to come from this team at the State Tournament,” coach Cameranesi said.