Gretna High School’s 18-member dance team advanced to the final round in a national competition earlier this year, marking a successful first season at the Class A level.
The team, comprised of girls in grades nine through 12, was led by coaches Missy Cobb, Kristen VanImpe and Maddie Wells. Senior members were Skylar Conrad, Raigan Kocian, Sidney Olson, Kylie Reisdorff, Cassidy Svec, Joscelyn Vincent, Brynn Woodward and Julia Zeleny.
The team began their season with a Dec. 9 competition against teams from the Omaha area at the UNO High School Dance Competition, where they placed third in jazz and second in pom.
On Jan. 5, at the UDA Spirit of America Regional Dance Competition in Minneapolis, the team again placed third in jazz and second in pom.
They went on to compete at the UDA National High School Dance Competition in Orlando in early February.
“After such a successful year, Gretna dance team is now on the map,” said Raigan Kocian, another GHS senior. “I am honored to have spent the past four years with such amazing dancers and coaches.”
The team’s third year at the national competition, they advanced to the semi-final round with their jazz routine. They advanced to the final round with their pom routine, placing 10th out of 45 teams in their division.
“Every year we kept improving, and this year we made history,” said Skylar Conrad, GHS senior. “When we made it to finals at our national competition, we got our name out to the nation.
“Making it to finals had always been a huge goal for us, and being one of the seniors that led our team on that path to success was very rewarding. I was so proud of how hard we worked and how determined we all were to make it to finals. The support from our community was heartwarming, and we felt nothing but joy and pride that we accomplished something so amazing.”
The team practiced three times a week, also performing at all varsity football and boys basketball games, in preparation for its competitions.
This was the first year that the team competed as Class A in the State Cheer and Dance Competition in Grand Island on Feb. 15.
“The strong leadership from the seniors and the diligent behavior of every member on the team is what motivated us the most in reaching our goals,” Conrad said. “I am so grateful that I was a member of the dance team for the past four years, and I can’t wait to see what the team will accomplish in the years to come. “