Kicking in a new sport


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Braxten Blood, Writer

The Owatonna Athletic and Activities Department proposed the addition of a Dance Team to the Owatonna Public School Board on Monday, Feb. 27. Although there are many details that are needed to be finalized, the addition of a Dance Team as a winter sport was approved. Many students are happy with this decision, sophomore Jessica Spatenka said, “I’ve always wanted there to be a high school dance team and I’m really happy it’s finally happening.”

In the 2017-2018 school year, a dance team will be offered as an official sport. There are many variables that are still left to figure out. Coaching-staff, yearly costs, uniforms and practice space are all variables that are in the works of being put together. The school board has approved this activity and the next steps are being taken. There will be two separate squads to make up the entire dance team. High Kick will be one squad, which will be made up of no more than 34 dancers. A second squad would be implemented and would compete in the Jazz category, this squad will have no more than 26 dancers. Dance team members can range from seventh to twelfth graders.

OHS is one of the few schools in the Big 9 that do not currently have a dance team. OHS activities director, Mr. Ryan Swanson said, “We felt like with the participation numbers and indication of people interested, it was a good time to add it as it is becoming more popular.” The addition of a dance team will be a good opportunity for people to try something new or continue on their dance career at the MSHSL level.

Dance teams are a large activity at some schools. Currently, there are 184 schools participating, and next year Owatonna will be competing with them. Owatonna will compete in class AAA and will join Albert Lea, Austin, Faribault, Northfield, Rochester Century, Rochester Mayo, Rochester JM and Winona in the Big 9 conference.

The activities department is working hard to finalize details so the dance team can start up next school year. Dancers that are trying out are excited to become part of the MSHSL competitive dance community.