The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The hardest goodbye

Kinzie Cusipag
At sections this year, senior Kinzie Cusipag poses for one of the last photos she’ll take with her team.
Kinzie Cusipag commemorates her experience on the SSDT with a video.
Sartell dance team seniors McKinzie Cusipag, Emily Berndt, Hannah Diekman, and Ellen Herbst hold up their signs before their last jazz competition. (Kinzie Cusipag)

I’ve been going by “chinz,” on this team for my entire SHS dance team career. What once started as nothing more than the result of my own messy handwriting has become a name that is incredibly important to me. The name “Chinz” means so much more to me now than a mistype in the roster. Now, it is the name used not only by my wonderful coaches, but also by the girls I’d grow to call my best friends in and out of practice, on and off the floor. 

Seniors McKinzie Cusipag and Ellen Herbst pose for a photo in their Disco Nation costumes. (Kinzie Cusipag)
Sartell dance team members Kinzie Cusipag, Lola Sens, and Sophie Swartout pose for a photo on the 2023 state floor. (Kinzie Cusipag)
Sartell Sabre Dance Team seniors McKinzie Cusipag and Hannah Diekman share a hug while at their final sections meet ever. (Kinzie Cusipag)









Since my freshman year, I knew that this team was special, even practicing in parking lots and tennis courts. I knew that this team’s energy was special when I could feel it through computer screens in long zoom practices. I’ve always known that this team that I’m lucky enough to be a part of is something that is once in a lifetime. I’ve always been told that it goes by fast, but it wasn’t until recently, spending my nights alone in my room instead of the confines of the slippery Riverview gym, that it’s finally set in. The reality those weeks being my last spent in the Riverview gym is heartbreaking, especially when it feels like yesterday I was performing “all that jazz.” But, even after all of the blood, sweat, and tears, I am feeling more than grateful to have spent countless hours doing what I love most, with a team who works hard and loves harder.


Senior Kinzie Cusipag and Junior Lily Warnert take a picture after dancing on the state floor. (Kinzie Cusipag)

I’ve heard that the more you put in, the more you get out of it. And by “giving more” this season, I’ve improved immensely, as both a dancer and a person. This team has given me so much, you guys are my best friends, and I couldn’t be more grateful that this team brought me to my best friends. Equally as talented as they are beautiful, at the end of the day, it is my teammates that make this experience so special. There is no one else I’d rather share my early mornings and late nights with, and no one else I’d want to see me drenched in back sweat, with naked ears and slicked hair. Even pre-game day traditions wouldn’t be the same without my teammates, the women who inspire me every day. Thank you for always being my biggest fans, and know that I will always be yours. Even long after graduation, I’ll still be this team’s biggest supporter, and I’m always rooting for each and every one of them. This team truly is a family, and family is forever.  I’ll always remember you.         

Everytime I hear the song “Anyone Who Loves Me” it reminds me of dance team, and singing it on the bus with my best friends.”

— Ellen Herbst

“I’ll Always Remember You” reminds me of how emotional [it was] ending my four years with the SSDT. Senior year on the dance team is bittersweet, because I know I’ll never experience anything quite like it.”

— Hannah Diekman


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About the Contributor
Kinzie Cusipag
Kinzie Cusipag, Journalist
Grade: Senior Activities: Dance team Hobbies: Spending time with friends and family, music, reading, and working at Hollister! Fav Drink Place: Starbucks Fav Food: Blueberry bagel with cream cheese