By Jamie Kohl
The Viterbo women’s dance team has danced their way to nationals in Minneapolis, Minn. for the second year in a row. They will be competing with numerous competitive dance teams in the national competition called DXamericup.
For the dance team to achieve such success, they practice twice a week as well as a few Sundays here and there due to the difficulty of a few scheduling issues.
Co-captain Carlee Brockman stated, “The girls have worked extra hard by adding in practices on the weekends and Friday afternoons.”
The dance team also performs for Viterbo’s men and women’s basketball teams. But in order to impress the judges at nationals once again this year, the V-hawk dancers decided to shake things up and take the competition at nationals up a notch by incorporating a lyrical piece for one of their three dances for competition.
Co-captain Rachel Hall discussed the difficulty in a lyrical routine and also the lyrical values in competition.
“First, it’s very demanding of emotional expression; a dancer cannot smile through the entire routine and call it good,” Hall told Lumen. “There must be an emotional connection made and portrayed. Second are the technical aspects of lyrical dance. What I mean is when there are turns, leaps, extensions, etc. they are very precise and typically slow which requires a lot of core strength and control in general. Third, a lot of people aren’t exposed to it so it can be a shocker.”
Lyrical routines are judged immensely harder than typical dance routines. Brockman stated, “a lyrical piece goes beyond the execution of dance moves and into the execution of emotions. This routine allows both the dancer and viewer to interpret the dance as they wish.”
Typically routines such as hip-hop or jazz are not put on the same judging scale as lyrical routines.
Brockman and Hall stated that lyrical routines apply control and emotion into the routine, making it harder for a large group to be on point with one another. Adding a lyrical dance of emotion and control will be a big step for the V-hawks to take into a competition, Brockman said.
In order to achieve their goals; Hall also stated, “changes include, but are not limited to, adding more difficulty to turns or other technical moves, rearranging formations, and ‘cleaning’ or in other words, repeatedly going over the routines bit by bit to ensure uniformity and clean lines.”
This will be the first V-hawk lyrical dance to ever be put together and performed in a national competition. The V-Hawk dance team strives and works toward being in the top five, hopefully first, at nationals and work towards earning enough money to be able to perform their lyrical routine.
So, why bring a lyrical piece to a nationally judged collegiate competition? Brockman stated that the lyrical piece will be dedicated to a personal friend of Brockman and Allie Marshall, choreographer, who passed away.
With the help of Marshall the women’s dance team strives and trains to make the perfect routine for nationals. Surpassing the two-time national competitors will be a challenge for other teams at nationals to contend with and they will be shocked with a lyrical dedication piece.
The competition isn’t the entire thing that the dance girls are looking for, they also have a few outtakes in mind. Brockman stated, “This year our goal is to primarily do our best and have fun. It doesn’t matter how cheesy it sounds that is what dance team is all about. And if we place well then that makes the event even better.”
Hall stated that having fun competing and placing in the top five were also goals in mind for the team. Success, work-ethic and a positive experience are the three main goals the Viterbo dance team has as a whole.
The dance team will step up and take the floor by leap, turn and extension during both men and women’s basketball games half-time. The dancers will also be performing numerous difficult routines during homecoming games and during their end of the year dance recital.
Brockman stated, “The dance team will be performing at homecoming and at a dance performance called the Blackhawk bleacher Bash in Prairie du Chien on Feb. 17. All pieces from the year will also be performed at our recital April 20 in the Fine Arts Center at 2:00pm.”
Along with their busy schedules of performances, the lady V-hawk dancers will take the stage at DXamericup in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the weekend of Feb. 22-24 and will be competing to achieve their own personal goals.