Add another conference championship to the long history of success for the New Richmond High School Dance team.
The Tiger dance team won the championship in the kick division at the Western Wisconsin Dance Team Conference meet held Saturday at Hudson High School. The Tigers also took third place in the pom division behind strong programs from Prescott and Ellsworth.
Maddie Kraft and Ivy Halvorson received first team all-conference recognition for their solo routines at the conference meet.
This has been a season of change for the Tigers, but the team has quickly adapted. The Tiger varsity lineup includes seven seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and seven freshmen.
"Our freshman class is very strong and all of the returning dancers have a great amount of talent so it's been fun watching the team grow together," said Tiger coach Ali Sirek.
The Tigers create new routines for each season. Sirek said having a large group of seniors helps the coaches in designing routines that fit the strengths of the girls on the team. It produced strong results on Saturday.
"Both dances are great, but our kick dance is full of energy and fun choreography," Sirek said.
The next competition for the Tigers will be on Saturday, Jan. 26, when they compete at the regional meet in Wausau. Sirek said the two weeks between meets will be spent refining the team's routines.
"We've had a great season so far but now is when things get really exciting. We start to see all of our hard work pay off," she said.
Somerset's dance team took second place in the kick and hip hop divisions of the conference meet on Saturday.
Somerset's ensemble of Kaia Larson, Lauren Young and Carissa Rose received second team all-conference honors.
This was the second competition of the season for the Spartans. They competed in a meet at Prairie Farm on Jan. 5, where both routines took first place, as did the team's ensemble.
Somerset coach Kacie Larkowski said the team is making rapid progress.
"We were very happy with our performances and are excited to continue getting stronger every day. We were excited to have placed highly in both competitions. The girls showed great energy and enthusiasm in both of their routines," she said.
With five new girls in the lineup, the Spartan team has molded together quickly.
"Each of the 12 girls are so talented and such hard workers, and it is so fun to watch them get better and better with each practice and to really watch them grow as a team together," Larkowski said.
St. Croix Central
The Panthers finished second in the jazz division and fifth in the pom division at the conference meet.
St. Croix Central coach Becky Dillon said the coaches have been impressed with the progress the team has made.
"I am so impressed with the dedication this team has. They get up and practice early every morning. We work really hard but also have a lot of fun," she said.