Dance team lands fifth place hip hop finish at State on Dec. 3

Dec. 3rd was a day full of harmony and delight as the Cedar Falls dance team performed at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines for the state competition. All 24 students on the CFDT performed around 9:15 a.m. and a little later at 11:45 a.m. The team performed two dances as a whole, along with a few girls performing solo dances that usually last around two minutes.

The team ended up placing fifth in the hip hop category, which was very exciting according to junior Maclayne Frana. She said, “Cedar Falls is among the biggest school categories, so we have a lot of tough competition. We scored fifth in hip hop which, because of the difficulty in our category, was very exciting. The team was excited about it, including me.” 

Learning the choreography for State takes about two long practices that occur months before the big day. The team hires two choreographers: one for pom and one for hip hop, which is why fundraising is so important to the team. “After we practice the choreography, we change certain parts of the dance and edit things, which is a much longer process,” Frana said. Once the routine is completely finished, the coaches, Alyssa Nolte and Kaitlyn Botkin, give their approval.

The ISDTA competition lasted nearly three full days, but due to the fact Cedar Falls is a part of the larger schools, the CFDT performed on the last day in the morning. Awards took place at 8 p.m., so the team declared it as a long, fun and busy day. Junior Sarah Campbell said, “For hip-hop, hearing our school’s name called was incredible. Our category is the hardest and most competitive. So, knowing that all of our hard work and dedication paid off was really rewarding. We did our best for both of our routines and knew that we could not have done anything else, so we were happy with our scores.”

There are four judges that can each rank the teams out of 100 points on four to five different categories such as execution and difficulty of the routine. Then all of the judges’ total scores are averaged.

Since awards took place so late and there was the drive home awaiting the team, the CFDT didn’t do much to celebrate their accomplishments. Frana said her family enjoyed watching her perform. “They are very proud of me for all the hard work that goes into the routines we create,” she said.

Frana started dancing on and off when she was little but started performing consistently around the prime age of 10. Now, at the age of 16, she dances at the Allison’s Dance Center in Cedar Falls along with a couple of other girls that are on the CFDT.

Campbell started dancing when she was in kindergarten and said she immediately fell in love with the sport. Although she was in gymnastics for a couple of years, she quit to pursue her passion in dance. Campbell said, “Dance has allowed me to meet and become friends with people I probably would have never met. I love this aspect of dance, how it brings very different people together to work hard and have fun.”

Campbell plans on continuing dance in college. She said she hopes to have the opportunity to perform at SMU down in Dallas. “While I plan to be on their dance team, I am also planning on finding a place that gives dance classes so that I can continue to do all of the different styles of dance,” she said. 

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.