Burke Westview dance team “stays hungry”

Olivia McCrossin, Editor-in-Chief

Burke Westview dance competes at Universal Dance Association High School National Championship

On February 5, 2023, the combined Burke Westview dance team placed 13th in the nation and represented all Omaha Public Schools (OPS) as the first dance team to ever compete at the Universal Dance Association High School National Championship in Orlando Florida.  

Long practices were a result of the team’s hard work and dedication. 

 “Leading up to nationals, we tried to keep practices fun, but they were also pretty intense. We would often have to run sections of the dance over and over again until they were close to perfect,” said Kate Christensen.  

Intense practices were not the only thing the team had to endure. 

According to Avery Christensen, one of the team captains, winter break showed them some of the hardest challenges. 

“Those two weeks were very hard physically and mentally. That was a huge reset moment for our team where we realized just how close we were to achieving our goals,” said Avery Christensen. 

Not only did the support of fellow dancers push the team to remarkable success, so did the captains and coaches. 

“Our coaches and captains were very encouraging and held everyone accountable for putting in the same effort as the person next to them,” said Sophia Mills. 

The team’s motto “stay hungry” meant a lot to the dancers. 

 Elle Christensen said, “Stay hungry has been our motto this whole year. To me, it means to keep pushing to the best you can.” 

 To Lanae Howard, junior officer of the team, the motto means to not only put work in for yourself but also your team.  

“In my mind, I did not know how big of a deal being the first OPS school to place 13th in the nation, until the news interviewed us,” said Howard. 

Being announced 13th in the nation was, “one of the best feelings in the world,” according to Erin Carlson, team captain.  

“It felt amazing coming back to school and seeing all the support from our teachers and friends,” said Carlson. 

Elle Christensen felt a sense of pride in her school district after performing.  

“There are so many good dance teams in Nebraska, but we are the only OPS team. Being able to prove to all the other schools that OPS can do well too and be competitive just like all the other districts, was such a good feeling,” said Elle Christensen.  

“Fulfilled, proud, relieved, and a fever dream,” are words used by the dancers to describe their team.  

“To future dancers, I would say that you will never regret working hard. The harder you work, the more success you will see,” said Elle Christensen.