Source: Sherman Publications

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Dance teams starts well at dance camp

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

August 15, 2012

The dance team warms up at one of their Monday practices. Photo by G. Ouzounian
Lake Orion sports are often a main topic in township and the boys and girls of the high school have once again begun their preparations for the season ahead.

One of those sports left the 2011 season with a rocky end due to the last minute loss of a coaching staff member, but that doesn't mean the dance team is taking the 2012 season any less seriously. Part of that is thanks to new head coach Deanne Gaereminck, who after spending four years as JV coach, is ready to take the reigns of the varsity team.

"After being the JV coach for four years, I have recently transitioned to the Lake Orion Varsity Coach at the end of our last season. The transition of coaching during a stressful point in the season really made the dancers and parents question the success of the team," said Gaereminck. "Those dancers that stuck it out and myself came back the following season ready to give it our all and prove to ourselves and the community that this will now be our year. My efforts along with (Athletic Director Bill) Reiss are to get this type of success echoed throughout the community. The notoriety the team is already earning at the beginning of the season is great for the girls and for Lake Orion."

The success Gaereminck refers to is at the teams Universal Dance Association Annual Camp - a four day dance intensive where the girls take classes and learn new techniques and routines from the countries top dancers. The camp ends with a competition where each team brings a home routine to perform in the hopes of qualifying for a National Dance Competition in Orlando, Fla.

By the end of the four day camp, the LOHS team went home with a blue ribbon for the home routine, a day-one "super spirit stick," third place overall in large varsity (15 or more dancers on a team), superior trophies for A-B-C routines, an award for the team routine, team leadership award, coaches leadership award and a qualification for nationals.

"We had a pretty phenomenal time at camp I would say. The varsity dance team really stepped up," said Gaereminck. "I keep telling my girls that this is our year and that we have absolutely incredible families and girls from around Lake Orion. W are now looking to have this success echoed throughout the community while we prepare to take our team to Nationals in Orlando in February 2013."

But before that, the girls will strut their stuff during the Dragons football games.

The team has 15 members, putting them on the small end of the large varsity category which has no upper cap. This means the team will likely go against other varsity dance squads with sometimes double their numbers.

Still, Gaereminck is taking her first year as varsity coach in stride and said she believes she understands how the season will play out. Particularly, because of unfortunate circumstances that saw last year's coach leave, Gaereminck said leadership from the coaching and dancers has taken an important role.

"It's a little stressful the first year, it definitely puts leadership in a whole new perspective," said Gaereminck. "I want the girls to take charge this year and our three captains have really stepped up. While on JV I understood I really had to be there for the girls and that's not different on varsity. It's all about leadership this year and it's going great so far."

The team is on the lookout for sponsors and will hold many fundraisers, including car washes. Their goal is to reach out even further to the community and participate in community events.