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Countdown to nationals By: Colleen Roberts

For the dance team, the countdown to nationals has officially begun.

At the end of the month, the dance team will be making their way down to Orlando, Florida to compete at nationals.

The team has been working extra hard these past few weeks in preparation for nationals.

In addition to their weekly practice schedule, the team comes in on Sunday mornings to get an extra two hours of practice time.

"Sunday practices seem to be when everyone is the most motivated and focused because school isn't on their minds." -Senior Addison Guitar

On Sunday, Jan. 20, the team held their first ever nationals send off. The team performed both their Jazz and Pom routines for their friends and family.

"We had our first ever nationals send off. We think it was a great way to get the entire community involved in this excitement for nationals." -Coach Katie Droope
"Family and friends were able to see how far we've come this season and cheer us on one last time before nationals." -sophomore Emma Lelito
"The send off allowed family and friends to see the dances since most of them won't be at nationals." -sophomore Taylor Waring

In addition to their Sunday practices, the team also motivates each other with different activities.

"These activities are a way for the team to get motivated for nationals and a way for us to let each other know we believe in each other." -junior Nina Andrianos
The team created a countdown board to serve as a reminder of the goal that they are working towards.

In addition to the countdown board, each member of the team wrote their names on a piece of paper and passed it around to the other members of the team. The others wrote positive messages to each person about either their dancing or their personality.

"I think it will help us as connect as a team and truly understand that everyone has something to bring to the team. We need everyone on our team to accomplish our goal." -senior Julia Meguid
"We've made it a point to really focus on ourselves this year, rather than outside forces. Every time we come into practice we work simply to be better than our last performance." -Coach Katie Droope

The team leaves for nationals on Thursday, Jan., 31.

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