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North Mahaska’s dance team claimed success at the Iowa State Dance Championships in Des Moines on Thursday. For the second consecutive year the Warhawk co-ed dance team snagged the top spot. The team’s novelty dance received third place and all three routines earned a Division I rating.

Two teams competed in the co-ed division, North Mahaska and a team from Creston. North Mahaska’s male contingent seemed to gather in the crowd of several thousand from the beginning of the routine.

“I felt that Creston had a very competitive coed routine, but I think the boys really had the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands,” said NM coach Shayla Schilling. “Both the boys and girls sold it with great energy and facial expressions and a clean routine.

Photo by RD Keep/NM Communications Breckyn Schilling and Lily Hartwig are raised high above the heads of Nate Sampson and Austin McMahan during their co-ed routine at Wells Fargo.

“I had high hopes for our novelty routine, everyone loves the Iowa State Fair, so I was excited that we placed with that routine.”

Sixteen students participated in the state event. Besides the previously mentioned routines, girls performed a hip-hop routine. Members competing at state were Lucy Gipple, Ally Livezey, Breckyn Schilling, Lily Hartwig, Allie Veiseth, Maddie VanUtrecht, Jocelyn Pinkerton, Austin McMahan, Nolan Andersen, Nate Sampson, Brayden Veiseth, Carson Doak, Maddox Wynja, Carter Lake, Ben Bunn, and Hunter Wernli.

More than 1,000 dancers from schools across the state competed in three days of competition. Locally, William Penn University and Central College had teams competing as well. The competitors perform in front of a panel of judges who give them a rating and determine the overall placings.

Schilling said the competition is not easy.

North Mahaska Co-Ed Dance Team

Photo by RD Keep/NM Communications
Brayden Veiseth and Carter Lake spring high during the co-ed competition at state dance.

“Dance is a difficult sport as there are so many technical aspects of which most are not aware,” said Schilling. “Lucy Gipple is our only senior on the dance team, and she jumped into our program just this year and was such a great addition to the team. She works hard to learn all of the choreography and technique and is positive and uplifting.”

North Mahaska’s events were all held on Thursday and their results were presented late that evening. The team performed their co-ed routine at Wells Fargo Arena and the other two in Hy-Vee Hall.