By Bruce Karnick
My now adult daughter was a dancer in high school for Henry Sibley, now Two Rivers High School, so forgive me if I break the rules related to telling the story of the Hastings Dance Team Club. I won’t hide the fact that it is a personal experience as a father and a writer to so strongly want to see this program succeed.
I loved seeing the passion my daughter and her teammates had for dance the hours of practice each day, the long days of competitions, being at the school at 6 a.m. on the first weekend in January to host a major invitational that went into the late evening. It was a fun experience and always so moving to watch hundreds of exceptional female athletes perform their routines that tell a story in three minutes.
The skills learned as an athlete in any sport are irreplaceable: teamwork, hard work, perseverance, positive attitude and so many more things these young adults learn just from participating in sports is incredible. I’ve seen the best of the best in the State of Minnesota compete at state tournaments and the energy at Target Center for the MSHSL Dance Team competition ranks right up there with wrestling and hockey. When I tell you Hastings High School needs a MSHSLsanctioned dance team, I’m being 100 percent serious.
It is not going to be easy to do. It is going to take years of good quality numbers as a club before the school can petition for sanctioning, but it will be worth it. The energy a solid dance team can bring to the school is incredible. The dance teams can perform at a variety of fall and winter events during breaks in the action for other varsity sports. Once fellow classmates begin seeing the pure athleticism that goes into being a dancer, they will show up and they will watch. But that means they need the communities support now to keep the train rolling.
They sure got that support Saturday at their car wash fundraiser held at Shane Lanning’s Farmers Insurance parking lot next to Mc-Donald’s. Their event went from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., and their goal was to be the top car wash for the school programs this fall. They knew the minimum goal was over $1,100 which another team had raised, but their true goal was to triple that and make $3,300.
In the threehour span, thanks to the generosity of the community, the girls raised over $2,000. They believed they were very close to doubling the previous highbar mark for the year, but final numbers were not yet available. The kids and parents working the event had a great time and were very thankful to not only Lanning for the use of the parking lot and the water, but they are also thankful to the community for supporting their efforts to build a dance team for future generations to enjoy.
The money raised helps offset the cost of uniforms, coaches, music and practice space if need be. You can expect to see the dancers at a variety of school events over the next few months, including the Oct. 13 varsity football game at home. They will dance during halftime as their final event for the fall pom squad season.
If you would like to learn more, including how to join the dance team or help the club, visit www.hastingsdanceteamclub.com.