January 29, 2009

Sapphires ready for a run at the title

High school dancers from across the state are hitting the Magic City this weekend for the annual North Dakota Association Dance and Drill State Competition Friday and Saturday. But one squad is not only going but also setting some high goals on what’s making the trip back with them.

"Our hopes for State are to get in to finals with all three routines and to get a first place trophy with one of our routines," head coach Heather Horning proudly proclaimed.

After a second place finish in hip-hop and a fifth place in dance last year, Beulah’s goal isn’t too far out of reach. The Sapphires had made impressive steps along this season with two competitions this past month. At the Demonettes competition, Beulah placed second in dance and third in pom categories. At the Dickinson competition the Sapphires earned second in pom and dance categories.

"We got some great feedback from the judges and have made some improvements with our routines. The girls have been practicing twice a day and are looking awesome," Horning said.

And those eight dancers looking "awesome" include five returning veterans. Seniors Hannah Knoll and Jessica Schmit lead the experienced squad as captains again this season. First year dancer Rosey Miller also joins as a senior. Juniors Ruby Aipperspach and Lindy Hafner along with sophomore Abby Ahrens are also returning. Three freshmen, Jennifer Pischel and Katie Dschaak are in their first year and ready to pick up and pass on the Sapphire traditions.

"Last year we had a hard year because of the loss of Amy (Kritzberger) so we decided to do just the two routines," Horning explained of the Sapphire captain who died in a car accident shortly before the season started. "It was just a struggle for us, we started way late in the season. This year we wanted to come back and redeem ourselves. We didn’t do as well as we wanted to at State but it was more of an emotional thing to get through. Now we are through it and ready to move on. We’re ready to work hard, we’re ready for more."


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