Knights Dance Teams Storm Disney Castle at National Dance Team Championship

The Walled Lake Northern Dance program capped off a record breaking season with a sensational performance at the National Dance Team Championship (NDTC) held at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

The event held at Disney World is the pinnacle of high school dance team competitions and spotlights the best dance programs and star dancers from across the United States. Both North Dance teams qualified for the NDTC after strong performances at a July 2021 Varsity Spirit Camp held at Novi’s Suburban Collection Showplace.

The WLN Dance Team coached by Meaghan Porter finished second in pom at the National Dance Team Championships held in Orlando, Florida the weekend of February 4-6 (PHOTO SUMBITTED).

The 2021-22 varsity team coached by Meaghan Porter is led by Megan Bonnell, Kady Cornelius and Katie Hodge. Other team members include Sydney Bellinger, Audrey Gabriel, Maura Heymoss, Carys Krol, Bella Rushwin, Olivia Sikina, Ella VanSicklen, and Haven VanSicklen.

This year’s junior varsity team is coached by Christina Bierley with Courtney Carrico and Brielle Natzic serving as captains. The 2021-22 JV team also includes Elyse Glusko, Madison Gorski, Sydney Ingber, Gabriella Kobylas, Kaylynne Lagodzinski, Tristin Miller, Mallory Nelson, Sarah Scheuern, Lilliana Tongko and Tori Zimmerman.

Prior to the national competition, Northern Dancers had strong performances at local competitions held in Lake Orion and Royal Oak. At the Lake Orion event, the university placed fourth in jazz and third in pom, with junior university finishing in second place in both categories.

At Royal Oak, the College Knights beat the pack to win the Jazz Championship and finished third in poms, with the JV Knights taking second place in jazz before winning the poms event.

On a trip to Chicago, Illinois, the program represented Northern Nation well in “The Windy City” with the varsity team winning the jazz and pom events and the JV taking fourth place in jazz and third in pom. .

Battle-tested after performing well in high-level competition throughout the season, the two North teams were locked and loaded as they traveled to Florida for the National Championship at the Disney Resort on the first weekend from February.

Throughout the three-day event, teams were eliminated until the best of the best remained to compete for the crown on Sunday afternoon in the final.

This year, the NDTC junior varsity pool consisted of seventeen teams. After the Friday and Saturday competitions, eight of the teams move on to the Sunday showdown. The JV Knights and Coach Bierley were thrilled to learn on Saturday that their jazz and pom performances would see them survive and qualify for Sunday’s final to compete in both categories.

The university, on the other hand, competed in the junior varsity division, which consisted of a huge field of fifty-three jazz teams and seventy-one cheerleading teams. The College Knights rose to the challenge and threw some solid routines in both jazz and pom. Porter and company advanced from Friday’s preliminary round to Saturday’s semifinals before securing the ticket to Sunday’s “Big Dance.”

The WLN JV Dance Team coached by Christina Bierley was recently crowned the National Champion in the pom division at the National Dance Team Championship held in Orlando, Florida on the weekend of 4-6 February (PHOTO SUBMITTED).

Both Northern teams would certainly shine on the big stage as both teams put themselves in position to win a National Championship, and the JV Knights did just that, winning the NDTC Junior Varsity Pom Division Championship with a score of 87.575. of 87.625. published by the Academy of Holy Angels (NJ). The JV Knights also placed seventh nationally in jazz.

The varsity team was also in contention for a natty until the very end, but sadly fell short in the Pom division. Northern posted a pom score of 89.7625, an outstanding score, but Los Alamitos High School (CA) won the event with a score of 90.475. With second place, the Knights were crowned national silver medalists. The team also placed fourteenth in the nation in jazz.

Coach Proctor was extremely proud of the success of the program this season as a whole, and of the Disney event in particular.

“This is only the fourth time we have attended NDTC in person for our program. In 2020, all four routines (two from each team) also reached the finals as the joint venture ranked third nationally in pom and jazz, and the university ranked fifteenth nationally in jazz and tenth to pom.

Proctor continued, “It should also be noted that it is quite an achievement for our program that four out of four of our routines make it to the finals, which means the JV and Varsity routines make it to the finals with both of their routines. We did it in 2020, and again this year. We are honored to have this opportunity and to be able to represent Walled Lake Northern as not all schools have this opportunity.

Being a member of the Knights dance program takes a tremendous amount of commitment, dedication and motivation as the team trains for eight months to prepare for national championships.

According to Proctor, Northern’s dance team is the “longest running school sport” because it takes place in summer, fall and winter.

The dance program also supports the football and basketball teams when performing at home games. The team attends camp each year in July before learning their choreography for the national championships in August before competing at the local and regional levels from November to January before the NDTC championship in February.

Walled Lake Northern Assistant Manager Chuck Froning spoke about the team’s dedication and recent presentation at the NDTC.

“We are so happy and enjoying our dance program. Coaches Meaghan and Christina have been such great coaches, mentors, role models and people over the years. And they have been followed and supported by so many great athletes and families.

Froning continued, “The work ethic, attention to detail, relationship building, mentorship that occurs in our dance program is exemplary. We are so excited for our coaches, our athletes and our families. They deserve the success they deserve. They are the pride of the North Nation!

Finally getting a chance to breathe after a busy season filled with accolades and success, Proctor said: “As coaches, we are so proud of the tenacity, focus and fight that all of our dancers have shown. This year. The time, energy and strength, mentally and physically, that these athletes devote to our program is unmatched.

“We truly feel like the luckiest coaches in the world to be able to work with them and have the immense support of our families and most importantly our administration. Mr. Froning has been an integral resource and mentor to us and has played a vital role in supporting and helping to build our program.

The program will celebrate the brilliant season at the next team banquet in March. The university will also celebrate the outstanding careers of outgoing seniors Olivia Sikina and three captains Megan Bonnell, Kady Cornelius, Katie Hodge. The quartet have been instrumental in Northern’s success throughout its tenure on the program.

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