Road to Redemption


Photo by Taylor Linville

The road to redemption starts in a low place, sometimes an unhappy place. For the varsity dance team, commonly known as FZWVDT, this road began nearly a year ago when they placed ninth in Jazz and sixth in Hip Hop at the National Dance Team Competition, or also known as NDTC. Although this team was the first in schools history to make finals in both genres of dance, there was still a bit of defeat lingering in the air. This emotion was felt due to the previous year’s success of having a higher bar set than what was achieved.


“Since the scores were very close, we still felt like we accomplished a lot,” team captain Savannah Penn said. “[Although] it still sucked going down from second to sixth [place].”


Despite the events that took place, FZWVDT has already gotten a head start on their road to redemption. There has been an obsessive focus on their demand for their revenge.


“Our practices during competition season are brutal,” sophomore Olivia Hartmann said. “At practice, we focus on how to get better as whole, not just individuals.”


Making history once again, these dancers double titled at the Lindbergh Invitational competition on December 2, 2017. They also received special awards such as the “High Point Award” and “Most Memorable Jazz Dance.” Recently at the Lee Summit North competition, these dancers double titled again while earning the “Outstanding Precision” award. Such intensity has proven that these dancers have their eyes on the prize. The hard work does not stop there.

“We will continue to work hard and train,” senior Sam Gabrick said. “We won’t stop or slack off and most importantly, we will fight as a team.”


For the next six weeks, this group of dancers will practice for up to ten hours a week to prepare for the most intense competition of their season, the NDTC, which will take place February 2 through February 4, 2018 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.


With her leadership role, Penn hopes to help lead her team to yet another unforgettable season.


“As a captain, I try to push others to their fullest potential and lead by example by constantly reminding them that hard work will pay off,” Penn said.


When this team enters the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on February 2, they will have their heads held high and their game faces on.


“I’m not nervous about how we will do this season because I know that this is our year to accomplish our goals,” freshman Halley Taylor said.