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Ruby Krietzman

Captain Kyla Kristal, senior, leads the Royelles at the Hopkins Winter pepfest.

Royelles finish season strong, excited for next year

Feb 5, 2016

The Hopkins dance team’s season ended last Saturday at Minnetonka High School. The girls competed against 12 other teams in the kick and jazz competitions and placed fifth and sixth respectively, missing the state qualifier cut by only a couple positions.

“Not making it to state is definitely a big low, but we know we had our best performance and there isn’t anything we would do differently about that,” said Molly Bauer, senior. “I’m going to miss just being around the girls and feeling each other on the floor. There’s a lot of energy there, and that’s a big reason why I dance, is to feel that energy.”

Dance season rarely takes a break, as was shown by the rigorous schedule the Royelles followed this year.

When the team wasn’t running around the Lindbergh Center track, or practicing three to six hours every weekday and for four hours on Saturdays, they were competing in section 2AAA meets against the Lake Conference, dancing at shows, performing at invitationals, and hosting fundraisers. The girls also picked background music for their dances, and creating their routines.

This year, the Royelles competed in six Lake Conference meets and performed in five invitationals. Invitationals were used by the team to see how well they match up against other teams across the state and meets were for competing against the rest of the Lake Conference.

One of the Royelles best finishes this year came at home where they placed second in jazz.

“It was really cool and fun to see all of our hard work pay off, especially at home in front of friends and family,” said Abby Doeden, junior.

The girls usually prepared in unused classrooms at the specified school and would watch other teams perform off of the classroom’s tv. When it was their time to perform, the ladies would walk out in full costume and makeup to perform their 3-5 minute routines.

“We have a tradition of putting a starburst in our mouth, just as a superstition, so our mouths don’t get dry while we perform. Also, our couches talk to us and pump us up before we go out there and we do a cheer. The feeling before stepping out onto the floor and competing is a mixture of confident and nervous energy,” said Doeden.

The dance team is split into five different teams with most girls performing in two of the five. The teams are as listed: varsity jazz, JV jazz, B-squad jazz, Varsity kick, and JV kick. The Varsity team as a whole this year was 26 girls, with 12-16 participating in jazz routines and almost everyone else participating in kick.

Leading the charge this year was head coach, Marit Green. Also coaching the Royelles were assistant kick coaches, Allison Schoenfelder and Jess Mattern, and former Hopkins Royelle alumni, and assistant jazz coach, Grace Gerring. The coaches were in charge of leading practices and working with the girls to pick the background music and to create their routines.

The captains for the team this season were, Taylor Rosenzweig, Lauren Goodman, juniors, and Kyla Kristal, senior. The three girls were captains throughout both the fall and winter season.

“Being a captain meant being the best teammate I could be and always remembering how my actions affected my teammates. I felt like being captain meant that I really had to be positive in all situations and be a good example of what I expected for other people. It was an amazing experiences to be on the team, and being captain just added to that and it was fun to get to make some decisions and choreograph dances,” Kristal said.

Royelle winter tryouts are already coming up at Hopkins as the weeklong tryout is scheduled to start Monday, February 22nd. The tryout will consist of roughly 40 girls who will split into groups of four with the intent of learning a routine in a week. Later, on Saturday, the groups will perform for the coaches. Historically, most girls make the team and for the 2015-2016 winter season, team placement results will be posted in late October.

23 out of 26 varsity dancers will return next year, leaving room for high optimism for the team.

“All the girls returning have to be ready to work hard next year so we can achieve our goals,” Rosenzweig said. “Some of our big goals are to compete well and place in conference meets and to make it to state.”

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