Dance team ‘came to dance’ at invitational


photo submitted by Myla Teemer

Mundelein’s varsity dance team got seventh place at the “We Came to Dance” invitational hosted at MHS on Nov. 24, for its dance to “Hold Back the River” covered by Blaine Mitchell.

Sarah Parduhn, Entertainment Editor

Mundelein Dance team had its first dance invitational Sunday, Nov. 24, and it kick started the competition season. The “We Came to Dance” invitational, hosted by MHS, was a whole day event at the school, with the JV team performing in the morning and varsity in the afternoon.

“I thought it would feel like a super long day, but it went by super quick because we were busy with practicing and getting ready,” said Kyra Ryba, a freshman on varsity.

While Geneva High School won the invitational followed by Lake Zurich High School in second and Crystal Lake Central High School in third, Mundelein took seventh for its first dance and 10th for its second.

“We could have done better. Some parts we were proud of, but some weren’t as good as hoped,” said Megan Hansen, senior and co-captain of the dance team.

Because the Mundelein Dance team was hosting, varsity got to be the first performance of the day and the last performance, and while some members expressed mixed opinions about how the team performed, members noted the team chemistry was there.

“Even when things get difficult, we all find a way to have a positive mindset and not give up,” Ryba said.

Hansen agreed. A lot of the team bonding comes from the numerous hours spent at invitationals. IHSA rules state that each team is allowed six invites a year, not including conference, sectionals and state.

Besides time spent at invitationals, the dance team also spends a lot of time practicing and began rehearsing the two dance routines at the end of the football season.

One dance, “Hold Back the River” covered by Blaine Mitchell, was choreographed by the three captains, Hansen, senior Grace Carlson and senior Lily Port. The other dance to “Baby Bird” by Chloe x Halle was choreographed by a professional.

The first dance invitational of the season is always one of importance– to see where the dance can improve.

“We get our first feedback of the dance,” Hansen said. “This allows us to fix any problematic areas or even fix anything that may have received a deduction.”

Feedback includes comments made by the judges. The judging of the competition is scored through seven different areas. A few of those areas include technique, showmanship and difficulty. The dance is scored out of 100 points, with each section being 15 points, except showmanship, which is out of 10 points.

“The first invitational gives us a good idea at how the judges view the pieces and the major changes that need to be made,” Head Coach Melissa Schaefer said.

Hansen said that the score sheets help “reveal [the team’s] strengths and weaknesses” that further help the team’s dances for the rest of the season.

As Schaefer said, “It always seems to come very soon, and we never feel quite prepared, but there has to be a first competition at some point.”