The Burlington High School dance team won the Wisconsin Association of Cheer and Pom Coaches Southern Regional meet Saturday to qualify for the state competition in La Crosse on Saturday. Submitted photo

Burlington earns slot at state tournament for seventh straight year

By Mike Ramczyk

Correspondent

The sport of dance isn’t just about the ability to make a few moves in rhythm with your teammates.

It’s much more psychological than that.

So when the Burlington Dance team won regionals last year – virtually – it’s not like it was easy but there weren’t hundreds of people there to watch.

This year, it felt more like the real deal with a loud, cheering gymnasium at Watertown High School, packed with screaming high school girls, their families and judges implementing the eagle eye with every single motion.

This wasn’t a problem for the Demons.

Burlington won its D3 Pom Regional Saturday over 10 other teams and qualified three soloists, senior Katie Rummler, senior Trishelle Iniquez and freshman Ella Koldeway, for state.

That trio will compete for the all-state team this weekend at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse.

Meanwhile, the team advances to state for a seventh straight time.

After back-to-back Southern Lakes titles and now a regional plaque, the Lady Demons continue to soar above the competition.

And it was that much sweeter to win it in person, especially with family there to celebrate.

“This was the first time Burlington Dance took first at Regionals after performing in person, so while we did win Regionals in our division last year it was virtual and felt like more of an accomplishment this year being in person with all of the other teams and families there to watch,” said head coach Ashley Schilleman. “Placing at Dance Regionals also earned us a slot at state for the seventh consecutive year.”

“The girls came into the day with the right mindset: be confident and have fun. They perform to their full potential when they take their focus off of the scores and remember why they are there in the first place: they love to dance. They encourage one another to do their best and show the judges what they have been working so hard on.”

The team includes Schilleman, Katie Rummler, Trishelle Iñiguez, Hailey Hotvedt, Emily Duesing, Skylar Morelli, Mckenzie Wiginton, Bella Weis, Laney Mangold, Brianna Morelli, Sophie Stutzman, Kylee Zigler, Shelby Kail, Ella Reinholtz, Ella Koldeway, and Olivia Lueck.

The fun is far from over for this magical season. The team heads west to La Crosse Saturday with high hopes.

Schilleman couldn’t be more proud.

“We are super excited to be back in person at State this year after not having the opportunity last year, so we plan to make it count,” she said.

To read an expanded version of this story, see the Feb. 3 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.