Kearney Catholic dance team deems state championship performance a success
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - More than 200 cheer and dance teams competed at the Heartland Event Center Feb. 17-19 for the Dance and Cheer State Championships. One of the local dance teams competing were the Kearney Catholic ‘Lucky Stars.’
Seven of the 12 members on the team were competing at State for their last time. Senior Maddie McGowen said she had competed in the last three years State championships as well.
“I’ve got to say, I think it was our best performance of the year and we really went out there being positive and making sure that we all hit everything super sharp,” said McGowen, reflecting on her teams’ Saturday performance.
She noted, the team worked hard and pushed each other to be their best. But, throughout the season, the Lucky Stars had to overcome a few challenges.
McGowen said the biggest obstacles she dealt with were having to work through shin splints, as well as their coach of her previous three years leaving at the start of the season.
With a two weeks notice, former dance coach Alecia Smallwood unexpectedly had to pack up and move to Texas when her husband was offered a new job. Despite the distance, she drove 13 hours to see the team perform at State Saturday.
“The seniors this year we my little babies they were the freshman my first year coaching and I just wanted to show them that I still support them as well as the rest of the team,” Smallwood said.
One of the seniors had some personal struggles to battle during the season. Rosalyn Roggasch said her mother had been in the hospital due to COVID-19. She said her mom was her biggest supporter, and even made time to watch her daughter perform in State in the hospital bed.
“She watched it and she was excited,” Roggasch said. “She said good job, how beautiful I am.”
Even through the hard times, Rising Stars Coach Kylee Krauss said the team always looked toward the bright side of things — and they held those positive attitude through their State performance.
“They went out there and it made me so proud to see all their hard work and their dedication and everything like that” Krauss said. “They deserve everything and I’m so proud of them. They did amazing this year.”
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