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Dance team Florida-bound



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The dance team practices early in the 2012 season. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
October 10, 2012 - Ask the Lake Orion High School dance team if they believe in magic.

Thanks to an approval from the Lake Orion School board, the team will travel to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, FL from Jan. 31- Feb 4. The fifteen-member troop will compete against teams from all over the nation in Jazz and Pom-Pon categories.

New coach Deanna Gaereminck said the team has yet to advance to the semi-finals in the team's previous two trips, so that is the immediate goal for her team.

In addition to competing and the amusement park thrills, "the biggest thing they get out of it is team building," the coach said.

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Since the dancers attend different local dance studios, "they have to compete on the weekends against each other, so it's nice having them come together and work as one team," she said.

The cost for the four-day trip will be about $1,500 per dancer, not including the cost of costumes and poms.

This cost is defrayed through sponsorships and fundraising events. To raise money, the team has a variety of events. They host an annual clinic for area dancers who want to learn more about dancing and perhaps someday join in the magic.

To raise more funds, the team has also held a few car washes this season, though those are probably done for the year, the coach said. Within the next three weeks, however, the dance team will have iPhone covers to sell. The phone covers will be available in school colors and will have the Dragon mascot and the slogan "Keep Calm and Bleed Green," Gaereminck said.

Another fundraiser expected later this fall is a night waitressing at a local pizzeria. The team has done this in the past, and it has been a big success, the coach said.

She's also mulling over the idea of a contest called "Be a Dragon Dancer for a Day". This fundraiser would enable anyone in the community to practice with the dancers for a day or perform with them at a game. Uniforms will be provided to those willing to participate.

Whatever shortfalls remain from these fundraisers are typically financed by donations from parents and citizen sponsors. The cost for the trip is formidable, so the coach said that fundraising efforts are likely to leave a shortfall. "We'll definitely be short some," she admitted. Gaereminck is thankful for the parents who step in to fill most of that gap.

Those who have seen the dance team in action, you'll recall the magic they can perform. If you'd like to help them as they prepare for the national tournament at the Magic Kingdom in February, please contact Coach Gaereminck at locoach11@gmail.com.

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