Two LPS dance teams will compete in national championships

LINCOLN, Neb. (COLOGNE) – It’s a sport that doesn’t often get the limelight like football or basketball, but its achievements don’t deserve praise.

The high school dance season starts in the summer and runs into the winter, and two Lincoln dance teams recently competed at the national level. The Lincoln Southwest and Lincoln East Dance Teams returned from Florida earlier this week with some awards and equipment from the UDA National Dance Championships.

For the LPS dancers, the routine began about a year before the state finals. This is the season of early mornings and late nights.

“We worked really hard,” said Ava Freeman, a senior dancer at Southwestern. “We put our blood, sweat and tears into this and just knowing that all our hard work paid off was a really amazing moment.”

Doing so landed them on the biggest stage in high school dance last weekend: the National Dance Championships in Florida.

The Lincoln Southwest Emeralds placed third in the senior basketball division, and the Lincoln East Apollinaires placed eighth in the intermediate jazz division.

“We came together and we were able to win,” Southwestern senior Brinley Kingston said. “During prom season, there are so many things that are thrown at you; injuries, just about anything you can think of will be thrown at you. But as a team, we can all come together and individually be a great unit.”

For many dancers, the last period of the season is bittersweet. Their coaches say they are proud that the teams gave it their all on the dance floor.

“It’s a staple of Lincoln East,” Lincoln East coach Sarah Hartman said. “They are strong performers. and when you watch them dance, they really make you feel.”

Hartman said the team has previously finished in the top ten at nationals, but LSW coach Lindsey Hinze said as far as she knows, this is a first for her school.

Now, the thoughts of dancers and coaches are focused on this Thursday for the state competition in Grand Island.

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