Battle of the dances

Kyla Johnson, Sports Writer

Hardwork and dedication have led the Xavier Dance Team (XDT) to back to back state titles over the past two seasons. XDT competed for their third straight title at the state competition beginning on December 1. This 2021-2022 season, XDT has been successful so far. They have attended three competitions, two in Cedar Rapids and one in Iowa City. Between the three competitions, the team won in the Hip Hop and Pom divisions multiple times. They worked to continue their success at the state competition. Sara Gundacker (X22) headed into her last high school state competition ready to lead her team. “Being a leader means to lead by example 100% of the time. Throughout practice the captains [Berkley Johnson (X22), Maegan Reininga (X22) and Olivia Wood (X22) ] and I encourage our teammates while also pushing them to be the best they can be,” Gundacker said. Sara is a part of both the Hip Hop and Pom routines. All 17 members of XDT attended the state competition and 14 competed in the Hip Hop category, along with 13 in Pom. Reegan Flugge , Alyssa Ramler, and Sara Gundacker also competed as soloists. Sophomores Lainey Reeder, who performs in the Hip Hop and Pom routines, and Anna Esker, who performs in the Hip Hop routine, have prepared for the state competition with their team. “We practice every day after school for 2-3 hours. As we get closer to the competition, we are working increasing cardio and conditioning. We have worked so hard all season for this,” Esker said. Reeder also mentioned the importance of mentally preparing for such a big competition for the team. “[To mentally prepare] I cross out all other distractions. You have to be all in to do your best, and know when to be 100% focused,” Reeder said. The team’s drive to win was extra strong this year with back to back state titles over their head. Senior Berkley Johnson hoped to earn another title for her senior season. “Being current back to back champions helps us to stay motivated and focused on our goals, in hopes of keeping our title,” Johnson. The Xavier Dance Team began competing at the state competition on December 2 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The competition ended on December 3. XDT won first place in class VII Hip Hop, and second place in class X Pom. They also received Outstanding Community Service Award, ISDTA Character Counts Team of the Year Award and Dance Team Union’s Most Authentic Award for Hip Hop. In Class XIII, Reegan Flugge placed 4th in the solo division, Sara Gundacker 3rd, and Alyssa Ramler is a state champion soloist.