ANAMOSA — This was a season of new beginnings for the Anamosa dance team.
The Raiders got a new coach and half the team was made up of freshmen.
It was a bumpy road throughout the season, but after placing at the state tournament this team has high expectations for next year.
The long season started at the UDA summer camp on July 6. The team performed its hip-hop routine for the first time.
It was a crazy, stressful and a fun-filled weekend.
A dancer on the team, Ava Hinrichsen, said she, at first, hated UDA camp because it was extremely stressful and the team didn’t get along very well. But, she noted, toward the end of camp the team bonding got a lot better and she actually enjoyed it.
The first competition was at Prairie High School on Oct. 13. Anamosa placed second in hip-hop and seventh in pom.
About halfway through the season, the dance team had its own show, A-Town Showdown on Oct. 19.
The dancers performed both of their competition routines as well as a co-ed routine with football players. There also was a clinic routine with some elementary and middle school students. Dyersville Beckman, Monticello and Western Dubuque high schools also performed at the showdown.
There were six soloists — Leah Smith, Brianna Neuhaus, Kinzey Bottelman, Lucy Hawkins, Livi Curtis and Hannah Harms. This was their first time performing their solos, which they eventually performed at state in November.
Iowa is home to the biggest high school state dance competition in the United States and it’s the last competition of the season,
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The Anamosa team arrived in Des Moines the night of Dec. 5 and did a “secret sister” gift exchanges and also got some sweet gifts from their coach. After a team dinner, they got back to their hotel and practiced each of their routines for about two hours.
Before the competition began, the team met and talked about all the memories throughout the season and their expectations for state.
The team arrived at Hy-Vee Hall around noon and performed its pom routine at 2 p.m. At about 8:30 p.m., the Raiders performed their hip-hop at Wells Fargo Arena.
Awards started around 9 p.m. in front of a packed arena and Anamosa was awarded Division 1 rankings for both of its routines. The pom routine was Class 9 and finished in sixth place. The hip-hop routine was Class 5 and placed eighth.