Unsurprisingly, amidst COVID, many sports teams have had to rearrange their seasons in order to follow guidelines and keep everyone safe, and the Minnesota State University, Mankato dance is no exception. Assistant Head Coach of the MNSU dance team Katie Luu was able to discuss this year’s season.
Luu talked about how the team has been attempting to do virtual zoom practices in order to keep up with their skills. While this was difficult, they made it work for the time being. Last week, the team took to their Instagram account to announce the good news of finally being able to practice in person.
Maverick freshman Kaylee Jenkins stated that getting into practices has been great, but of course there are difficulties that come with it. “It’s a weird and unexpected challenge to practice with a mask on.”
Jenkins described what practices have been looking like, as the season has had to start so late. “Right now we are just working on team norms and initiating the freshmen onto the team. I can probably speak for most of the freshmen when I say we are just trying to follow along and hope to survive our challenging practices.”
As for current goals for the team, Luu stated, “We’re just trying to get into the swing of things for right now. We’re going by each day one at a time, and if things clear up, we’ll set more detailed goals.”
The dancers have begun working on sideline performances for basketball and football games, which they are hopeful they will get to perform at.
Looking towards the future, Luu also mentioned the team has already started some preparations for nationals, which will be held in January if it can be done safely.
Jenkins stated the team is prepared for the season to just be practices this year, but they would still love to do their regular season activities, such as sideline performances, competitions, and getting involved in the community.
She also lamented their lack of summer practices and team bonding, but noted that every bit of it has been worthwhile. “All of the turning, jumping, and acrobatics all while accidentally inhaling your mask and social distancing has been worth it to dance with my team, to learn from my coaches, and to grow as a student both personally and professionally.”
One of the last things Luu mentioned was, “The team has definitely risen to the occasion and is super excited to get going.” The team seems hopeful and ready for the season, no matter how much COVID has affected it.