Viterbo Dance Team experiences a year of success


Viterbo’s competition team

Carter Steger, Assistant Editor

Viterbo University has two dance teams, performance and competition, but they do just about everything together besides face one another in certain competitions. The season for Viterbo’s competition team was a great success as they qualified for nationals again. 

The dance team has captains, which are dancers that have displayed mature leadership skills, dedication, and serve as role models for other team members. Seniors Nyah Brooks and Jessalyn Wilson are two of them. They serve on both the performance and competition dance teams. Wilson says, “For the past two years as a captain, I’ve been taking on little tasks that the coaches want us to do, but also planning different team bonding activities. Also, I’m really trying to lead by example and set a high standard of work ethic for our team.”  

Aside from being an example and setting the standard, the captains are involved as students on campus. In addition to being a member of the dance team, Brooks stated, “I’m also our Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative for the dance team, along with being on the board as student athlete representative.” Each of them work hard not just in practice, but in the classroom as well. 

Throughout the year the competition dance team traveled to several events. The first one was at Midland University. Wilson speaks on their preparation, stating that “our competitive team came back a week early before the semester started in January. We really polished our routine before we went to Midland University.” The results were not what the team was expecting. Wilson says, “We didn’t place or score as high as we were hoping at all. That was a bit of a shock. It was on the lower end of the scores we’ve ever received.” For Wilson, it changed the team’s mindset. “We were really like, okay, we performed well, but let’s really kick it into gear.”  

Coming off of what the captains described as a “reality check” they headed into the next event which was Viterbo’s first hosted dance competition in school history. At the home competition, Viterbo placed first. Wilson says, “from that point on in the season, we felt a little more confident.” 

The end goal for the dance team was to qualify for the national competition which happened March 10-12. Nationals is the final competition of the year. Brooks describes the qualifying process: “There’s a selection committee. Coach sends in video of our routine and summarizes what went well with what we’re working on.” Despite their effort and hard work the dance team did not receive an automatic bid to nationals.  

Viterbo dancers had to wait for the selection committee to decide if they would qualify. On how the team found out they qualified, Wilson says, “Anyone who could met in the VAC with our coach at the time of the press release. Our coach got the email. She gave us a little nod and we were screaming crying. It was awesome.”  Viterbo placed seventh at the national competition this year.  

 For Wilson and Brooks this season was different. Wilson says that “This year was the culmination of all of my dance training up to this point.” As a senior, Brooks leaves the current dancers with the message that “It goes by incredibly fast. Take in every single moment, every single memory, because once it’s done it’s done.” 

After graduation, Brooks has a position at Gundersen lined up working in the neuroscience unit. Wilson will complete her master’s at Viterbo next spring but will intern as a sports nutrition expert in addition to working at her local dance camp in the summer.