Triton Dancers Complete Successful State Dance Competition
by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
Posted on 12/12/2023
The Iowa Central Dance Team went into the 2024 Iowa State Dance and Drill Team Association State Championships with their eyes on bringing home the gold.
That mission was accomplished when the Tritons captured their 11th consecutive state championship in pom in a category with six other teams, and a fifth straight state title in hip-hop in a division with eight competitors. They were runners-up in the Community College Jazz division in a field of competition that included fellow ICCAC teams Iowa Western, Kirkwood, Southwestern, Ellsworth and Hawkeye.
The Iowa State Dance and Drill Team Championships is a three-day event held at HyVee Hall and Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, bringing together hundreds of performances from Iowa high schools, community colleges, private colleges, and state universities. It is the largest state dance competition in the country. Iowa is unique in that the collegiate dance teams are separated into divisions, which guarantees each school will only compete against other schools similar in size.
This year’s team came together and were passionate about their routines and buying into the process of becoming one of the top collegiate dance squads in the state.
“A big thing that our team has been focusing on this year has been to ‘embrace the process’ and I think the team has done a great job of that,” said Sophomore Captain Kara Perry. “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without our passion for dance and our amazing coaches.”
In a sport that requires passion and commitment, Captain Kayla Welter said creating an environment that is supportive and uplifting keeps the team focused, even when the going gets tough, which she said can happen while balancing hours of practice, competition and gameday preparation with academics.
“Competition season requires a great amount of practice which can be very challenging and stressful, so finding ways to keep each other motivated allowed us to not lose sight of our end goals,” said Welter.
“We leaned on each other when we needed it the most which is something that I am forever grateful for,” Perry added. “The dances put on us were very far from easy, and every dancer on the team stepped up and worked hard in order to execute them with such precision and enthusiasm.”
Perry said the team’s passion and enthusiasm on and off the floor were noted by teams and spectators alike.
“It felt really good to be on a team that was proud of each other and recognized the growth and performance of the girls next to them on that floor,” said Perry. I am most proud of the passion of our team shining through to others. Our love for this sport was so obvious to strangers that it was recognized and acknowledged. I am proud of the team for putting out amazing routines on the state floor; I don’t mean because we placed well. We danced outside of ourselves. We truly had our brains on ice and hearts on fire. There is no better feeling than getting off the floor and knowing that all the time and work was worth it. You get that feeling way before you know how you placed. That is something to be proud of.”
State competition begins the Tritons' road to the National Championships in Florida. They take the judge’s comments and feedback from state and use it to prepare and re-vamp routines for nationals.
I have enjoyed meeting a lot of new friends and hanging out with them from other states or countries that come and learn at Iowa Central.