Viking Dance Team ready for this season
The Viking Dance Teams made their season debut at the first home games. This year the Viking Dancers have a junior varsity squad and a varsity squad to perform for their respective basketball teams. The junior varsity squad is coached by Cyndee Orcutt, who has been responsible for the Viking Dancers for the past six years. Jenny Eckman is the new varsity coach. Echman is a former member of the Michigan State University Dance Team, who was ranked second in the nation. The South Tahoe Viking Dancers began preparing for their season when they attended a four-day NDA dance and cheer camp at the University of California, Davis. They attended classes in technique, leaps, turns, kicks, pom, funk and team routines from intermediate to elite levels. The team members were evaluated in each class and dancers from both squads were awarded outstanding and excellence ribbons in the various areas. Many of the Viking squad also were selected as “Top Gun” dancers during the camp.
Three STHS dancers, Ashley Kern, Kylee Weiss and Lisa Sarosik were selected as “All American,” the highest award given by the NDA. The dancers were taught a special routine, which they performed in a competitive format.
“These three young women had continued their dance training during the summer before they went to camp. Ashley spent a month at a ballet camp in Long Beach and Lisa and Kylee attended a dance convention in Las Vegas, where they also were recognized by the faculty. The level of skill required to become an All American becomes higher every year. Their participation in off season training, just like other sports, is what makes a difference,” said Orcutt.
All American dancers are eligible to perform in either the Orange Bowl in Miami or the Hula Bowl in Hawaii. three members of the junior varsity, Kelly Wysong, Jordan Hughes and Nora Tobin also were nominated to compete for the title.
“Having six of our girls nominated was a real honor. They were up against dancers from highly competitive squads. Our dance team has to find its own funding for uniforms, camp, routines, etc., and we have to practice off campus. Teams from other areas have dance teams as part of their high school physical education curriculum, which means they are practicing daily as a team in addition to taking dance classes outside school, which gives them an edge,” Orcutt said.
Three of the seniors on the varsity squad, Tiffany Carter, Kylee Weiss and Lisa Sarosik, have been on the dance team since their freshman year and bring with them leadership and talent. Returning seniors Kiva Lefler and Courtney Brown have moved up and juniors Jessica Kollar, Denise Wagner, Jacy Gleave and Ashley Kern, who were part of last year’s competition squad, bring experience and depth.
“I am excited about this season. Last season, when one of our squads competed in Reno at the Northern Nevada Winter Classic, we won first place in the dance team division and were the overall grand champions,” said Eckman.
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