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The Tritonian

Dance Team Finishes Long Season with Success at Nationals

Angela Wright

The NDA dance team recently finished up a long, successful season. 

The small squad of six includes senior Brooke Tuszka, junior Maddie Hilts, junior Lidiya Schneider, junior Pip McGinnity, sophomore Cami Pakkala and sophomore Sydney Miles. 

The season lasts about ten months. During this season, the team attended about nine competitions and danced at NDA football and basketball games. The team also took some routines to state.

To close out their season, the team took a trip to Orlando, Florida, for nationals. There, they placed ninth out of thirty-six teams. 

“I don’t think any of us were expecting to do as well as we did. This is not to say that we didn’t think we were good enough or that our routine wouldn’t get us there. It’s only because there have been teams going to Dance Team Union Nationals for years who have not placed that high or haven’t even made it to the final round. Since this was our first year competing at these nationals, I was hopeful we would do well, but not expectant of the top ten,” explained senior Brooke Tuszka. 

Unlike other teams, the dance team doesn’t have a captain. They have a “leadership team” consisting of Hilts, Schneider and Tuszka. 

Tuszka added, “The whole team steps up when needed, and we all take on the captain role when we feel like it’s needed.”

Recently, the team started a future Tritons dance program. This helps the young future Tritons who are interested in dance to start early to be ready for high school. 

When talking about the futures’ girls, Tuszka said, “They care so much about the varsity team. They always want to be around, tell you about their day and hug you. These memories I will never forget.”

Tuszka reflected on her time on the team, and departing as a senior. 

“My freshman year, I thought the seniors were crazy when they would tell the team they loved them. However, as the years moved on, I realized what kind of love they held for the team. Their love for the team was a love of family. You spend so much time with these girls, so many stressful and non-stressful hours and days with this team that you form a family. 

“You are guaranteed to have some rocky points, that’s high school, but the team learns how to move forward from these points. They teach you valuable life lessons on how to handle emotions and friendships that begin to be more family than friend. You will not come out an expert in controlling emotions, but you will be able to understand yourself and others better than you did going in.”

Tryouts for next year’s team are on May 15-17. The team also holds open gyms throughout April. 

Even though she is a senior, Tuszka is open to any and all questions about the team. Even after her time at NDA is over, she still encourages people to reach out to her with any questions.

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