Taking the final bow: Varsity Dance heads off to Nationals March 1


Lexi Villalobos

GETTING IN THE GROOVE During their pom routine, Sam Bleza, sophomore, and Sara Progler, senior, practice their moves for Nationals. “Running the routine with weights is never easy, but I know it’ll make my dancing better in the future,” Bleza said. (photo by lexi villalobos)

Emily Dywan, Page Editor

With a sixth place finish at the UDA Chicago land Competition, Dance has finished their season and works towards their NDA National Competition at Orlando March 1. The team will be competing in the Medium Varsity Jazz & Pom divisions, following their third place in Pom and fourth in Jazz from the 2022 season. Junior and varsity dance captain Gabriella Kajmakoski is optimistic about the team’s chance at Orlando.

“I’m really excited. I feel like we’ve been working hard this year and we have more of a shot than we did last year,” Kajmakoski said. “This year we have a new coach. She’s a lot more fun and understanding of where we’re at, and that makes us and the team a lot more confident going into nationals.”

With the help of choreographer Jillian Zagorski and first-year Varsity Dance Coach Elyse Skalka, the team has been relentlessly working during their practices, focusing on their strength in motion and precision of each step. Due to minor injuries posing a rocky start at the beginning of the season, the girls have been playing catch-up during the last few weeks.

“Our practices have been more focused on the specific details that the national judges look for,” Coach Skalka said. “I keep pushing them every practice and every time they take the floor to be more confident, more precise and to enter their ‘Beast Modes’. Clean, crisp movements have to be achieved in unison to make our routine pop.”

As her third year on the MHS dance team, junior and varsity dance captain Anna Andello has high expectations on the big stage this year, hoping to demonstrate what the dance team is capable of on a grander scale. She relays the team’s goals moving forwards towards nationals.

“There’re many goals we’ve set as a team. Heading to nationals, we mainly want to come off that stage knowing it was our best performance and have no regrets,” Andello said. “Winning nationals or not, we are doing this for us and to represent Munster.”

The team performs their last dance at the IHSDTA state competition March 11, concluding their season until call outs and audition clinics start back up in April. Coach Skalka honors the girl’s hard work this season and looks forward to many years of coaching to come.

“It has been a great year so far; I have the honor of coaching some of the best students at the high school. These girls are extremely talented and dedicated to this sport at all levels,”  Coach Skalka said. “Every single dancer on the team has improved vastly since tryouts last June. I am so proud of this program and I can’t wait to see them take the stage at nationals.”