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The Drill: Hastings has helped Trojettes dancers dazzle at state

Trojettes dancer Taylor Hastings strikes a pose during practice. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- The hardest thing for some people to understand about danceline is that it’s a real sport, and a difficult one. Spectators see the dancers in their colorful costumes and their sequins, and they put it in the category of entertainment.

Well, it is certainly entertaining when it’s done well -- just like basketball or football. But it takes a lot of hard work, and a lot of stamina, to make it special.

Taylor Hastings, a member of the Worthington Trojettes dance team, has helped the local jazz squad qualify for state competition in 2016 and 2017. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old, and when she became a seventh-grader she joined the dance team.

The Worthington squad is coached by Caitlin Werder, who takes her charges through daily practices between appearances in meets and the occasional exhibitions at the halftimes of other sporting events.

Hastings says the two divisions of dance -- jazz dance and kick team -- both require a lot of dedication and teamwork. But they’re not exactly the same. Jazz features a lot of turning and leaping, said Hastings. And kick team members must have extra flexibility and stamina.

“You’re at a fast pace for three minutes long, which can be difficult,” she explains.

Recently, The Globe interviewed Hastings about her danceline exploits and also shot video footage of her practicing and performing. You can go online to see the result, at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: You’ve participated in multiple state jazz tournaments. What was that like? What do you cherish the most about your state tournament experiences?

ANSWER: “Being able to perform at state was a dream come true. … We worked hard. We tried to get there many times, but finally being able to do it was a big accomplishment for us.”

Q: How good is this year’s team? Can you get to state again?

A: “This year’s team is a new batch of girls, especially for our jazz team. We have four returning and four new, so I think if we all work hard and are dedicated to making it to state again, it’s possible.”

Q: To be successful in danceline, a team not only needs good athletes, but they have to coordinate their moves together. How difficult is that?

A: “Something different about dance team is you need many different abilities. Some girls might be more flexible than others, some girls might have better turns than others. But for when you put a dance together, it all has to be the same. It all has to work and flow together. And so that’s even more difficult than all the other sports.”

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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