OSAGE | In just its second year, the Osage State Dance team competed for the first time at the state dance championships in Des Moines on Thurs, Nov. 30, making a big impact.

Coached by Amanda Powers, the Osage State Dance team placed second in Kick at the state competition, with a routine set to the pop song, “Salute,” by Little Mix. The state dance team is one of two dance teams at Osage High School.

The state dance competition is open to any high school dance team providing the team members qualify in regards to actually being a dance team and having the grades to participate.

Students on the Osage State Dance Team began practicing their routine in July. For Claire Sullivan, Anna Miller, Hailey Gentz and Mady Dohlman, the four seniors on the team, who began dancing in preschool, this was one of the final times they will compete together.

Growing up, Hailey and Anna danced at Studio Dance, Hailey in Mason City and Anna in Charles City. All four joined up with Just for Kix in middle school. Despite having competed in dance, at a younger age, the style and level of competition was much different this time. For one, it was every team member’s first time competing at state.

In the weeks leading up to the competition, the team met on Sundays to practice their routine and build their confidence as they readied themselves for competition. For some, who’d watched the previous year’s competition, they had some idea of what to expect, while for others, the experience was completely new.

“I had confidence that we would get out there and do our best,” Miller said.

Competing in the kick category meant they were not only judged on technique, but also in appearance and attitude, in addition to how well they connected with the audience. Judged from the moment they stepped foot on the floor, they had 30 seconds to get in place, 30 seconds from the end of the routine to get off the floor, and only once chance to wow the judges.

To prepare, the team traveled the day before to prepare for their performance as well as watch other teams competing.

Even though there time on the Osage Dance team is coming to an end, each of the seniors spoke of their love for dance and their desire to do it in college as part of a dance club. if one was available. Miller spoke about wanting to do tap, while Gentz expressed a desire to dance hip-hop and Sullivan spoke of her love for kick.

“When I found out there was going to be a team last year, I was so excited,” Miller said. “It is fun and a great experience, I love hanging out with the girls on the team