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Baker dance team starts season with two wins

The+Baker+dance+team+has+won+its+first+two+competitions+in+2017.+The+team+will+be+competing+in+the+Baker+Regional+Preview+on+Feb.+5+in+the+Collins+Center.+Image+by+Shelby+Stephens.
The Baker dance team has won its first two competitions in 2017. The team will be competing in the Baker Regional Preview on Feb. 5 in the Collins Center. Image by Shelby Stephens.

The Baker dance team has won its first two competitions in 2017. The team will be competing in the Baker Regional Preview on Feb. 5 in the Collins Center. Image by Shelby Stephens.

The Baker dance team has won its first two competitions in 2017. The team will be competing in the Baker Regional Preview on Feb. 5 in the Collins Center. Image by Shelby Stephens.

Story by Bailey Conklin, Sports Editor

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The Baker dance team began its competitive season with two first-place finishes in its opening weekend of competitions. The team started its winning weekend off at the Missouri Baptist Spartan Showcase on Friday, Jan. 20, and completed its weekend with a first-place finish at the Lindenwood-Belleville Classic on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Senior McKenzie Kula, one of the team’s captains, thinks that the first-place finishes help motivate the squad going into competition season.

“Coming out on top two days in a row really proves that we can be just as good as the teams that have maybe beaten us in the past,” Kula said.

In the Spartan Showcase, Baker earned 81.6 points. Close behind was Point Park with 80.45 points. Baker’s first-place finish in this event was out of eight teams.

In the Lindenwood-Belleville Classic, Baker placed first out of nine teams and earned 91.86 points. Baker topped second-place Missouri Baptist by 4.33 points.

Junior dancer Krista Porter thinks that the small size of the Baker squad works in its favor.

“We’re one of the smaller teams, I’d say, which can kind of hurt us, but we only have two freshmen competing so the rest of the team is from last year,” Porter said. “So we already have a bond, I guess. We already kind of know how to work together.”

Kula and Porter both think there are aspects to their routines that they can work on for future competitions. Porter believes that the team’s ability to be sharp makes their performance in pom the strongest when they compete, while the hip-hop performances could use improvement. Kula believes the team’s stamina could also use improvement.

“I think that we’re really strong at being shape as a team and making every performance exciting to watch,” Kula said. “I think we need to work on probably more our stamina and not letting it decrease throughout the routine.”

The Wildcats will compete next in the Baker Regional Preview in the Collins Center on Sunday, Feb. 5, beginning at noon. While the team members are excited at the opportunity to have friends and family who don’t usually travel to competitions be able to watch them perform, the home event also helps calm performance nerves.

“We get practice time in Collins, so just knowing our spots on the floor and where we’re all supposed to be helps the nerves, because you already know where you’re at and what you’re going to do,” Porter said.

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