January 27, 2016

Dance team wins state

By Jarann Johnson
Last year the Beulah Sapphires got really close to winning a state title. The Sapphires headed to Jamestown and were heartbroken with four second-place finishes.
The Sapphires headed back to Jamestown for the State Dance competition this year and came away with a better result – two state champion dance routines.
One routine took first place in hip-hop and the other routine took first place in pom. The squad was coached by Amber Skalsky and LaDawn Dostal.
The head coaches both agreed the Sapphire squad did a great job of handling pressure.
“This year they worked really well under pressure, I think, because we didn’t start till the end of November. Last year they did four routines and this year we said, ‘since we are on a short amount of time, let’s do two routines really well,’ ” Skalsky said.
Dostal added a similar statement.
“They’ve definitely taken the pressure that we put on them and thrived. They didn’t have any issues with us throwing in extra practices,” Dostal said.
Even though the squad ended their season very strongly, the start of the season was very humble. The Sapphires couldn’t find a coach and didn’t even know if they would get a shot at the elusive title of state champs.
Skalsky talked about the unfavorable start for the co-coaches and the team. Both knew how the 2015 Sapphires were really close to earning state championship honors and wanted to help the squad take one more shot at the title.
“I think that’s the main reason LaDawn and I walked on. They couldn’t find a coach and we knew that they had the potential to come home with a championship this year. So we were like, ‘We have to give them a shot,’ ” Skalsky said.
The coaches served in different roles. Skalsky focused on the managerial tasks and Dostal focused on the dance side of things. Skalsky explained how the co-coach duties for the team went.
“I think that’s where LaDawn and I make a good pair because she has more of a technique background with that part of it. I have more of a managerial background with the paper work stuff, turning papers in and taking care of that kind of stuff,” Skalsky said.
Both coaches agreed that leading the team wasn’t a task because the team was self-driven and always had their eyes fixed on a state championship.
“They took a lot of initiative, too. Even though we had a late start, the girls came on and had a lot of stuff ready to go. Some of the choreography was ready, so we were able to get right to it when we finally did start having scheduled practices. They had a lot of that initial initiative to get going,” Skalsky and Dostal said.

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