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Danceline: Trojettes looking forward to another good year

WORTHINGTON -- After qualifying for the Minnesota state jazz competition in 2017, Worthington High School danceline members Taylor Hastings, Alyssa Johnson, Jackie Banegas and Mackenzie Meyeraan are in the forefront of the Trojettes’ season in 2017-18.

“They’re very determined to do just as well as they’ve done the past two years,” said head coach Caitlin Werder.

Indeed, the Trojettes are hoping for a third consecutive berth in the state jazz event. Hastings and Johnson are seniors this year, and Benegas and Meyeraan are experienced freshmen.

With a senior-dominated danceline team ready to start the season in earnest Saturday in an 11 a.m. competition at Renville County West High School, the Trojettes look forward to another outstanding season -- whether in jazz or in high kick.

Other seniors on the team are Alizaye Prins, Fairy Apolo, Gina Huber, Kharmen Saysirisanh, Lay Yu Paw, Paw Der and Peh Tha Pwe.

Werder is justifiably proud of the jazz group, which is exceptional at turning on jumps. And that’s not as easy to do as it sounds.

“Dance requires a lot of muscle use in the legs, the abdomen and the arms,” Werder said about the routines, which last from two and a half to three minutes. “You’re basically using all the muscles in your body. But you have to do it in a way that looks graceful.”

The WHS teammates are good friends, which helps, she said. “They’re strength is working together as a team to make the dance look the way it needs to look.”

Though the Worthington High School high kick team has yet to qualify for state competition, it enjoyed a very solid year in 2016-17 with multiple trophies at competitions. High kick routines require 16 girls moving together at once, in precision, and many formation changes are needed. The competitors must make from 45 to 60 kicks (above the waist) smoothly coordinated within the group.

Again, togetherness is key.

“A lot of these girls have been dancing together since the seventh grade,” Werder said.

Besides their regular competitions, the Trojettes will perform occasionally this winter during high school basketball halftimes.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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