Dancers win Championship at Little Ceasar’s Arena

The Dance Team gathered together for team pictures

(photo courtesy of Anna Uphoff)

The Dance Team gathered together for team pictures

Sydnie Uphoff, Staff Writer

After working tirelessly since summer, the MHS Dance Team competed in person for the first time on Feb. 27 at the Pistons Classic Dance Championship. The team was incredibly successful, placing first in both the medium jazz and medium hip hop categories.

They also came out on top with the highest score of the competition. The MHS Competitive Dance Team is a new group that was formed in 2020. The team has worked hard, participating in dance camps, learning choreography, and preparing to compete. The team also participated in a virtual competition in early February, when it received beneficial feedback from UDA (United Dance Association) judges.

The members used this advice to improve their dances and adapt to the UDA style of dance. The UDA form of dance requires perfect synchronization and creativity.  All the dancers on the MHS team are new to this UDA style, so it required a lot of time and dedication from the dancers in order to adapt.

Each dancer on the team has different strengths and backgrounds. Coach Becca Grden explained, “The most challenging part of the team has been blending this group of talented studio dancers together to have a uniform style as a dance team.” The girls come from different studios that specialize in different types of dance.

The new team has been successful not only because of its hard work and dedication, but also because of the members’ close bond as a team. “The team bonded quickly over the summer due to team workouts and pool parties,” Freshman Anna Uphoff said. “The fact that we are all so close made practices efficient and fun.”

Like many sports, The MHS Dance Team was greatly affected by COVID-19. When it was not allowed to practice in person, the team made sure to keep improving its dances by practicing via Zoom. The team had several competitions planned in Jan., Feb., and March that were canceled due to the pandemic. This included Nationals, which were to be hosted in Disney World. It is unfortunate that the girls missed out on so much, however, they were grateful to have performed at the MHS Girls Basketball game held on Senior Night and at the Pistons Dance Competition.

The MHS Competitive Dance Team has only one senior this season: Rebecca Kobylas, who said that her favorite memory from the season was when they were about to compete their jazz routine for the first time at the Little Caesar’s Arena. “It was so rewarding getting to finally show people what we had been working towards all year and I’m so grateful we got the opportunity to perform as a team,” she explained.

Kobylas, who attends the IA, is a team captain along with Junior Abbey Werner. The captains often organized and hosted team practices and events. They took on extra responsibility and time commitment in order to see their team succeed.

As the team concludes its season, Werner said, “I will definitely miss being with the girls every week and being challenged each practice!” She also added, “I’m going to miss getting ready for competitions and just having a good time while doing what I love. It was a great season.”

The girls made the best of the season they had and were successful in what they were able to do. They look forward to having a complete season next year and competing more as a team.