Dance team second at Lindenwood

Story by Jenna Black, Photo Editor

The dance team placed second in its second competition of the season at Lindenwood University in Belleville, Illinois, on Saturday, Jan. 30. Eight teams competed, and the Wildcats finished just one point behind first-place St. Ambrose University.

“I think that from here our placements will only go up and our routine will only improve,” junior co-captain Kaitlyn Stout said.

The team hasn’t just been focusing on competition, though. To get away from the stress of competition season, junior co-captain Michaela Jamison recently decided to mix things up by choreographing a dance with 11 male students. The performance on Jan. 27 was a crowd pleaser by incorporating a medley of popular songs such as “Hotline Bling” by Drake, “Hit The Quan” by iLoveMemphis and “Sorry” by Justin Bieber.

Jamison got the idea from a YouTube video and thought it would be a fun break to do a performance that was not as stressful as competition routines. Jamison selected men who she knew were outgoing and involved around campus.

Freshman Ethan De Leon was the only freshman on the male squad.

“My favorite part was definitely every time we got to dab,” said De Leon, referencing a popular dance craze.

The team has learned to adjust to the loss of two out of the four co-captains, Erika Mallery and Callie Brabender, due to student teaching this semester. Coach Lynsey Payne misses their leadership, but she believes the team is still strong and is confident in what they will be able to accomplish.

The Wildcats will travel to the regional meet held in Oklahoma City on Feb. 19 with hopes of qualifying for NAIA Nationals to be held in Davenport, Iowa, on March 11-12.

Payne looks to improve upon the team’s sixth-place finish last year by jumping to one of the top five places at the national competition. However, she does not consider them out of the race for a first-place finish.

“I think that we definitely have the tools to take it all,” Payne said.