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Sartell Dance Showcase: how does it all come together?

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Sartell Dance Showcase: how does it all come together?

Melissa Welsh

Melissa Welsh

Melissa Welsh

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The Sartell Dance Team performed their Varsity kick and jazz and Junior Varsity kick and jazz this past weekend at the annual Sartell Dance Showcase. The girls were excited to take the floor and debut their new routines to their family, friends, and fans. The Sartell Dance Showcase is the dance team’s biggest fundraiser every year and is run perfectly to maintain an enjoyable dance show. So how does the dance show even work? Who sets it up? Who plays the music for the dancers? What’s all needed to be done in order to have a great dance show?

I interviewed the head coach, Kelly McCarney, of the Sartell Sabre Dance Team and asked many of these unanswered questions SHS students are curious about hearing the answer to of how the showcases come together.

 

Q: When was the first ever Sartell Dance Showcase?

A: “The first ever showcase was in November 2002.”

 

Q: How many teams came to the first dance showcase?

A: “The very first show was put together quite quickly. We had started the team in August of 2002 and we only had a fall performance team that year. We fundraised a lot that first season and we hosted our show as a fundraiser to keep our program running. At that time, we were 100% self funded sport at SHS, meaning absolutely everything we paid for ourselves, coaches, bussing, uniforms, competition fees, etc. I know Tech and Apollo were there and St. Cloud School of Dance was there and us. It was a smaller show. I believe Sartell Community Ed dance also was there.”

 

Q: How do you coaches come up with creating the songs and the costumes for the dancers?

A: “Brainstorming starts in the late spring early summer with ideas. We honestly keep a running list of song and theme ideas all the time and are always adding to it.”

 

Q: As Barb Fleck makes the costumes by hand, how many hours or even days does it take Barb to create the costumes?

A: Bark Fleck makes the costumes and I have no idea, but I am sure hours and hours!”

 

Q: How long does it take Mat Wallace to create the kick and jazz music?

A: “Matt Wallace edits our music. We give him very detailed mapping out of what segments of each song we want to use and he blends it all together.”

 

Q: Approximately how many cuts does Mat Wallace make before the final music products?

A: “We usually have to do at least 2-3 edits of each song before the final product.”

 

Q: Who is the announcer for the show? What does he do?

A: Jim Tomczik. He started doing it years ago to help me out and still does.”

 

Q: Why did you choose Jim Tomczik for the dance showcases?

A: “He is my dad.”

 

Q: Approximately how many people attended the Sartell showcase last year?

A: “This year we had over 1,400 paid attendees. Last year it was more than that. That does not include the dancers.”

 

Q: Who all helps out with the showcase to make it all come together?

A: “We have some key parents that take on bigger roles from our booster club related to the dance show”

Dance Show Co-Chairs: Chad and Mary Carlson and Brad and Jen Ouart.

Dance Show Invites/Show lineup: Jen Ouart and Mary Carlson

Dance Show Program Chair: Jessica Moore, Assistant and Trainor Heidi Reitz

Dance Show Ad Coordinator: Joy Runge

Dance Show Security: Jon Pearson and Dave Jacobs

Dance Show Shirts: Stephanie Schwarzentraub and Susan Kraul

Dance Show Flowers: Jean Harthan and Karla Teer

Dance Show Concessions: Molly Vogt and Roger Pekula

Dance Show Tickets: Heidi Schneider and Diane Reller

Dance Show Food for SSDT: Roxanne Knowles

 

Q: What is the hardest thing to do for the dance showcases?

A: “All of the prep work! The coordination of all of the teams attending, the line-up. The ordering of the shirts, flowers, concessions. Making sure we have enough, but not too much stuff. Thankfully we have an awesome booster club and parents who help out with most everything!”

 

Q: When it comes to the show, what is the most nervous part as a coach? What about the most exciting part as a coach?

A: “The most nervous part is that the show runs smoothly. That there are no major illnesses or injuries. There have been years when we have had people get sick on the floor, major injuries (not from our team, but other teams). We want the show to run on time and keep moving so that spectators enjoy the show. The most exciting part are the debuts of our routines! There is something so special for not just us and our fans, but for everyone to take in our routines for the first time. The music, the costumes, the whole package deal for kick and jazz.”

 

As the dance showcases are Sartell Dance Team’s biggest fundraiser annually, what does it pay for, for the team?

A:  “Coaches, uniforms, and bussing mostly.”

 

What happens after the showcase is over?

A: “Thank you’s are sent and we get ready to compete!!!”

 

I had the opportunity to talk with some SHS dancer parents about their part in the showcase.

Thank you for all of their hard work these past few weeks, and for many of them, these past four years. Our dance show is run completely on volunteer power, and they go absolutely over the top to make sure dancers, parents, and other attendees are accommodated and that everything runs smoothly. ”

— Izzy Kuala (12)

Q: How did you guys design the arch?

A: Mary Carlson, Cortney Carlson’s mom (11) “The arch is designed based off of the t-shirts design, so there was the shapes of the t-shirt and that’s what we usually do the decor of the show.”

Q: “Did you have any meetings prior to the show for jobs for parents to sign up for?

A: Mary Carlson, Cortney Carlson’s mom (11) “We have booster meetings and there is a sign up online where people sign up for different committees that they work in. Then they are in charge of how they put up their signs, their decor for each section.”

The parents take so much time out of their day and week to put together an amazing show. We could not do it without their help and support, and we are all so thankful for them.”

— Maddy Quart (11)

Q: How many hours or days did it take to create all the decor?

A: Mary Carlson, Cortney Carlson’s mom (11) “It was just one night of the arch, but overall for the signs and pretty much the lineup of the show it takes up to a month long process to get the teams all organized, but the decor took a couple of nights of organizing stuff.”

They have contributed so much time and labor towards the show, you could even say that we would not be able to host it without them.”

— Kristin Davis (10)

Q: How long does setting up the show take?

A: Jon Pearson, Taylor Pearson’s dad (12) “We do a couple weeks of planning process ahead of time and we have lots of lists and lots of the decoration are assembled, and then we set up on Friday night and get here Saturday morning and from there we do the final details and wait for the dancers.”

Q: As the senior banners are new this year, how long was the banner process to make the final product? Any complications?

A: Heidi Reitz, Juliana Reitz’s mom (12) “It was very easy. VistaPrint has the best deals on vinyl banners and if you plan early, you can wait to order when they have specials like $9.99 each or 50% off. Each parent ended up paying $15.75 including delivery. I added a 5″ white bottom border with their name, created in photoshop, which made the final product come out to 19″ x 36″. I saved the templates so if they want to use the idea in the future, it will be easy for people to drop new images and change out names. The only difficulty in the order was VistaPrint had a printing error. The proof showed the barcode on the bottom right of the banner in the white area. However, it printed out in the top right corner which is where the image was.  Called customer service and VistaPrint reprinted the posters for us twice to get it right. Both times that they were printed were free of charge and shipped overnight. We ended up having to display the printing proof upside-down on their website for it to go through their machine correctly.”

It was really nice to see every parent from each grade willing to put in the effort and time to get the show ready and to help clean up after.”

— Brenna Harrington (9)

Q: What are the jobs that you do for the show?

A: Stephanie Schwarzentraub, Reese Schwarzentraub’s mom (12) ” I just strictly am the t-shirt lady, ordering the shirts, but you know as a parent you just step up to whatever you see, if someone needs help like a studio girl needs something you just step up and you do it. Or if the lineup is not going easy you just step up and you do it. As a veteran parent and you see a rookie parent not knowing what is going on you just help out.”

A: Melissa Welsh, Hannah Welsh’s mom (12) “Some of the many jobs that need to be done at the dance show are the sale of tickets, concessions, security, and selling of Sartell logo wear. I have been in charge of coordinating the girls at the doors that dancers walk on the floor from for the past few years and I enjoy it.”

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About the Photographer
Hannah Welsh, Journalists

Hannah is a senior at Sartell High School. She dances on the dance team for Sartell. She has two dogs, Paisley and Willow. She works at a locally owned...

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Sartell Dance Showcase: how does it all come together?