St. Nicholas Dance Team hosts event for 78 children
FREEDOM — They waved pom-poms, they swayed in unison and they got autographs from two beauty queens.
These were some of the highlights from the fifth annual St. Nicholas School Dance Team's dance clinic held April 28 at Freedom High School. The clinic attracted 78 children — 77 girls and one boy — from the Outagamie County area.
The morning dance clinic was led by the 14 members of St. Nicholas School's dance team, with help from parents and dance team director Dana McHugh, whose fifth-grade daughter, Faith, is a dance team member.
Lily Mannenbach, 4, raises her pom-poms during a dance clinic sponsored by the St. Nicholas School Dance Team at Freedom High School April 28. The Catholic school dance team hosted the clinic for area children, age 3 to fourth grade, to teach dancing skills and teamwork. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)
According to McHugh, who is in her first year as dance team director, St. Nicholas School has fielded a dance team for 11 years. Former St. Nicholas parent, Lori Peterson, started and directed the dance team for eight years, followed for two years by Amanda Sprangers.
The team competes with other area middle schools in dance competitions. St. Nicholas is the only diocesan Catholic school that fields a dance team, believes McHugh.
"It's rare to have a Catholic school that has a dance team, so we're really proud," said McHugh. "We do have a very small squad compared to a lot of the public schools, but (the girls) work very hard and they've done very well. This year we competed in three competitions: in Freedom, Little Chute and in Kaukauna."
The dance team consists of 14 girls in grades five through eight. This year they performed two dances, a pom-pom and a funk routine, said McHugh. The squad also performs at halftime of St. Nicholas boys' home basketball games.
According to McHugh, the dance clinic is a way to promote St. Nicholas School. "It's a great opportunity for the school," she said. "It's a way for the students to learn some leadership skills and grow."
The event is also a fund-raiser for the dance team. Participants pay $25 to attend.
During the morning clinic, participants learned a dance routine choreographed by dance team members. At the end of the clinic, they performed their routines for parents and families.
Another highlight was an opportunity to meet Miss Wisconsin USA, Emily Guerin of Monroe, and Miss Teen Wisconsin USA, Briana Yamat, from Oak Creek. Both pageant queens spent time talking to participants and autographing photos.