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Behind Scenes of Dance Team Tryouts

Dance Team tryouts have started this week. Girls came ready to dance, hopeful for a spot on the Mercy Dance Team. Seventeen girls showed up at the tryout clinic ready to learn. The first clinic started with introductions and information about the team. Grace Denning says, “ I was really excited, but the weirdest part was introducing myself as a senior for next year”. The dancers shared their favorite style of dance and a fun fact to introduce themselves. Then Mrs. Kilpatrick, the dance team coach, explained what was required and the commitments that come with being on the team. 

The girls then began dancing with the seniors leading the warm up. Various stretches were led by last year’s captain, Riya Ketelsen. This gave the girls the opportunity to practice splits before the tryout. After stretches were finished Mrs. Kilpatrick began teaching the kickline. The tryout candidates will need to practice the kickline to make sure they are on beat with the rest of their line. Mrs. Kilpatrick had the candidates run through the kickline 3 or 4 times so they could understand the combo. 

Riya Ketelsen teaching the dance combination

Once the girls finished with the kickline they were separated into two groups. One group would be learning technique and skills, while the second group would be learning the dance. After the girls were separated, the seniors began helping teach and give corrections.

Group one began with technique in the dance room. Senior Megan Riesberg was in charge of teaching all technique required. Candidates will be tested on turns, kicks, jumps, and leaps. All skills were reviewed with the dancers doing across the floor combinations to practice. During this time the girls were able to ask questions and work on new skills.  

After 40 minutes the groups switched, with group one now learning the dance. The dance was composed of three separate styles: pop, jazz, and hip hop. Riya Ketelsen was responsible for choreographing and teaching the dance. The dancers focused on learning the material so they could practice later. Once the choreography is mastered they will need to use facials and performance once in front of the judges. 

The clinic ended with the both groups coming back together. The girls were able to ask questions about the tryouts with last year’s members. The veterans gave advice to incoming and new hopeful members. Ava Crowley, a returning member said, “The tryout process is exciting, the dance was so fun to learn and it is so exciting to see all of the new faces trying out!” The top tips given were to smile, practice, and to have fun! Everyone was a little nervous about the process but was excited for the future team!

The tryout candidates will have one more clinic and then tryout April 23rd. The dancers will perform technique, kickline combo, and the tryout dance. The tryouts will be held at the Mercy gym with about four judges. The team will be announced shortly after, based on tryout scores. Get excited to see new and returning dancers join the team!

2022-2023 MHS Dance Team


Lauren Maass
Future Dance Moms Star
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