The Belle Plaine Dance Team returned to in-person practice on Monday, Jan. 4, after several weeks of learning routines over Zoom.
“With dance you have to teach them choreography which is one thing, but then you also have to teach them where they are going to be on the floor,” said Head Coach Crystal Eichmann.
While practicing virtually, the dancers focused mostly on learning specific moves and steps, though coaches would hold up drawings of their formations so the athletes could get a sense of the routine as a whole.
“It was challenging,” said Assistant Coach Mikayla Manley. “We kind of avoided the whole formation situation until this week.”
Now that the girls are back together practicing again, they can focus on putting their entire routine together and working towards their new set of goals for the season.
“Obviously, goals kind of change in a situation like this. It’s not like any normal season. I would say our biggest goal is just to remain resilient,” said Eichmann.
She also wants the team to focus on their work ethic, competitiveness, optimism, and commitment to the sport.
“We want to continuously improve, not just from year to year but from day to day,” she said.
Last year, the 2019-2020 team won the Minnesota River Conference with a first place score in both High Kick and Jazz.
With a total of 50 girls in the program this year and 23 on Varsity High Kick, the team is slightly bigger, but also slightly younger.
Eichmann said there are twelve seventh graders and four seniors.
“We want to make sure we are improving every day on a team level and encouraging the girls on an individual level to make sure they are continuously pushing themselves every day,” she said.
The team will compete at home against Le Sueur-Henderson, Mayer Lutheran, Norwood Young America, and Tri-City United at the first Minnesota River Conference Meet on Friday, Jan. 22.
BPHS Dance Team Schedule as of Jan. 12
Jan. 22: Meet at 7:00 p.m. vs. Multiple Schools - BPHS South Gym
Jan. 23: Invitational at 9:00 a.m. vs. Multiple Schools - Delano High School
Jan. 28: Meet at 7:00 p.m. vs. Multiple Schools - BPHS South Gym
Jan. 30: Invitational at 9:00 a.m. vs. Multiple Schools - Hutchinson High School
Feb. 4: Meet at 7:00 p.m. vs. Multiple Schools - Tri-City United High School
Feb 13: Meet at 9:00 a.m. vs. Multiple Schools - St. Cloud Apollo High School