Dance Team Aims for State in Jazz and Pom


Aeva Ver Boort, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Update:  The Dance Team achieved their goal in regional competition at Kimberly and will compete at state (La Crosse) in both Jazz and Pom.  In team captain Grace Balison’s words, “We are proud to represent Notre Dame.”  A send-off to state is planned for Friday.

The Notre Dame Academy Dance Team consists of a group of girls and their coaches, Laura Renier and Karmen Bushmen. The team captains are seniors Grace Balison and Helen Treankler and junior Katie Crane.  

The dance team practices every weekday for a total of 10 hours a week and up to 16 hours  on Saturday competition days.

They have all-day practices in the summer and fall to learn new choreography for the season.

According to Balison, the company “Just For Kix” choreographed all of all their football routines while Marissa from “The Choreo Co.” choreographed the Pom routine. Allie Walsh from “NEW Fusion Dance” choreographed the Jazz routine as well as the duet for Balison and Treankler. Coaches Renier and Bushmen choreographed the kick routine.  

Treankler and Crane choreographed their own solos for the “All-Star Competition” at regionals and state.  

“We are so lucky to have amazing choreographers come to NDA and teach us hard, visual and beautiful routines,” said Balison.  

The team believes their strongest dance style is Jazz.  Last year they were D2 Jazz Regional Champions. They also seem to be doing really well in Pom too, having placed in every competition in Jazz and Pom this year.  

Their goal is to make it to State in both Pom and Jazz.

Competition weekends are very exciting for the team as they enjoy performing on the floor for hundreds of people and seeing the appreciation of all their hard work. They basically only have two minutes each routine to show three judges how hard they have worked for nine months.  

As the seniors come to the end of their high school dance team career, they are going to miss a lot of things.  They have been dancing their whole lives, says Balison, so they are definitely going to miss being on the floor doing what they love. In addition, they are going to miss the opportunity to lead a team, and they are going to miss all of the crazy adventures they have had as a team.

“We have been so blessed to dance together for four years,” said Balison.