A high-school dance team’s performance was set to an appropriate song during the state championship Feb. 20.
After the Staley High School Emeralds dance team’s win, co-captain Sarah Goetz said Aerosmith’s anthemic “Dream On” was inspirational.
“It’s a song that everybody knows,” said Goetz, a senior.
In the same way the lyrics describe aspiration, “obviously we were all dreaming for that state championship. We put everything we had in that song.”
The team performed a jazz routine to the song, which won the Northland dance group a first-place win in that category.
“I think we stood out because of the emotion we put in to the dance, how much (the audience) saw in our faces when they saw (the routine),” Goetz said.
The team also won first place for their pom routine.
Their aggregate score from their first-place wins was enough to earn the team first place in the Missouri Dance Team Association competition’s division Class 4A, a category shared by 17 schools.
Staley High School Emeralds’ blockbuster performance ends the dance season. The team previously earned first place at the state competition in 2014 and 2012.
Goetz leads the 14-member team with co-captain and senior Victoria Quintero.
Quintero said the team’s strength is in its cohesion as a group. The two leaders have worked to build an inclusive team culture by ensuring that underclassmen and older students get opportunities to bond outside of the program.
Rigorous training throughout the dance season also helped lead to the win.
In the run up to their state competition appearance in February, dance team members added four extra hours to their standard 10-hour practice schedule.
“I think we’re set apart because we treat a lot of our practices like performances,” she said, adding that confidence also helped with the win.
In 2015, first place in the Class 4 division went to a Northland dance team at Liberty North High School.
Goetz said having two state titles behind them spurred the Staley High School Emeralds Dance Team to push harder.
“We know what’s at stake,” she said.