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Union Dance Team ends season with showcase
February 15, 2019

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Members of the Union Dance Team performed one last time together on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Union Middle School for their annual showcase and fundraiser while also recognizing the middle school dancers and four seniors.

"This year's team is defined by our large group with 24 out the season," instructor Shelby Graveman said. "We have a good group of girls out and supportive parents who make sure they are making practices. With the bad weather we've had, they've had to practice at home."

Despite several performances being cancelled due to school being closed on snow days, the varsity team performed two routines while the competition team showed off their State routines for family, friends and formers members of the team out to support Union. Members of the Union Middle School team under the direction of Katherine Ollendieck performed their first routine of the season, honoring the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Recent weather had also negatively affect the young dancers' schedule and instead announced they were extending their season with several small performances in the area. Ollendieck, who had been coaching at Union for 10 years, announced she will also be stepping down after this season

This event gives Union that chance to highlight another successful season for the program, which received a Division I rating at State with their Hip-Hop routine and second place in the Novelty class. In addition to State, the varsity team entertained at football and basketball games throughout the year. All of this was made possible in part by four seniors-Scarlet Ellsworth,Kinsie Murley, Olivia Sash and Camden Zeien.

"I've had these seniors since my first year of coaching at the high school four years ago and I also coached a couple of them when I coaching middle school," Graveman said. "It's hard to lose them because they are good leaders and a great group to coach."

"I have ten juniors coming back for next year, with half of those girls currently competition team members," Graveman said. "Next year will great with so many upperclassmen and I look forward to it."

These juniors and future members of the team will also enjoy new uniforms beginning next season, with the pie auction raising $1,600 and the Union Booster Club paying for half of the $6,000 order.

"The uniforms were are getting next year are Union dress," Graveman said. "Most teams across the state have a formal uniform and we do not. We found one that is cost-friendly and plan to get them three months after we order. These uniforms can last for eight to ten years, so many future teams will get to enjoy these."

Videos of the performances, with the exception of the Novelty piece, are available on The Dysart Reporter Facebook page.

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