Ames High Drill Team keeps on drillin’ to Nationals

“5, 6, 7, 8,” Coach Sarah Buss yells as the Ames High Girls’ Drill Team starts its practice for this year’s national competition in Chicago, Illinois. With one national competition under their belt in 2004, the drill team is confident it will place high again this year. “Our first nationals were successful, and we’re hoping for the same results this year,” junior Katie Lundstrom said. With limited space for practice at the high school, the drill team practices in the new middle school gyms. Because formations and spacing are a crucial aspect to dancing, the gyms have helped in that aspect, and they have also provided more room to dance. “The new gym has helped with formations,” sophomore Mallory Sornsen said. “Our team feels a lot more confident now.” Ames High Drill Team takes nine dances to state, but because of the limited dance categories at nationals, and the fact that it’s an all-girl competition, the team is taking only four to nationals. The four routines are hip-hop and pom, performed by the gold squad, and jazz and kick, performed by the silver squad. “We made the changes we needed to make after state, and I have a lot of faith in our performance in March,” said senior and co-captain of the gold squad, Alyssa Rasmussen. After the state competition, the team had a one-month break, and then it got back into the routine of full-time practices again. Each practice included running, crunches, turns, toe touches, push-ups, and running through all the routines multiple times. The last time the Ames High Drill Team went to nationals, it swept plenty of trophies. Pom and kick received first place, and hip-hop, prop, lyrical, and jazz received second place. The team hopes to perform as well as, or better than, last time. Junior Katie Linduska, a gold-squad dancer, said she thinks the team has the potential to at least place in both hip-hop and pom. Other dancers agreed with Katie Linduska. As senior Emily Davenport said, “We’re going to Hip and Hop all the way down to Chicago, where we will jazz ourselves up, and shake our pom-poms, and kick some major tush.”