Burlington High School

BHS dance team gears up for competition

Members of the Burlington High School dance team practice a routine on a recent Monday in the school cafeteria. The team has entered the competition portion of its season and is looking to repeat at Southern Lakes Conference champion. (Photo by Mike Ramczyk)

Team is excited to have a season amid restrictions

By Mike Ramczyk


You would have to go back to 2000 to find the “Bible” of cheerleading/dance movies.

“Bring It On,” starring Kirsten Dunst, explores the competitiveness in the high school dance, poms and cheer world.

Dunst and Eliza Dushku team up to take on the rival team from the inner city, led by Gabrielle Union, and hilariousness ensues.

Talk of stealing routines and catty banter rule the day, and in one scene, the main character’s team steals a previous team’s routine, with smiles on their faces.

The stunned crowd stares in shocked silence, and the proverbial poo hits the fan.

OK, this isn’t going on with the Burlington High School dance team, headed by eighth-year head coach Ashley Schilleman, but you get the idea.

Don’t steal their routine.

Roughly 20 girls and a couple coaches practice every day in the BHS cafeteria.

On a recent Monday after school, girls were split in two groups and took turns working out to “Suit and Tie” by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z.

The girls used pom-poms and engaged in synchronized choreography featuring kicks, rolls, tumbles, straight dancing and ballet steps.

Dance incorporates moves across all disciplines, and the Demons have the spirit, drive and talent to repeat as Southern Lakes Conference champs.

It’s the first year BHS is incorporating hip-hop, and the team chemistry is obvious.

“I enjoy working with talented student-athletes and love watching their passion for dance grow,” Schilleman said. “I have been fortunate enough to watch many of my dancers continue their dancing careers into college. Over the last eight years, the dance program has grown into a positive and competitive experience for my students.”

This year, the dance team include seniors Minna Brown, Addison Mangold, Emma Swantz, Ellen Graham, Adesa Blohm, Delaney Brien and Natalie Novak; juniors Trishelle Iniguez, Cali Brown, Sky Morelli, Katie Rummler, Haley Hotvedt and Emily Duesing; sophomores Laney Mangold, Bella Weis, and Brianna Morelli and freshmen Sophie Stutzman, Kylee Zigler, Ella Reinholtz and Shelby Kail.

Schilleman said the squad has performed at the halftime of football and basketball games, and with the new year comes the competition season.

“We submitted a video for a virtual competition on Jan. 16 at Kaukauna. Jan. 30 we compete at Oak Creek in-person and the SLC Conference Dance competition is on Feb. 6 at Union Grove, which is also in person,” Schilleman said. “We are really excited to be able to have a season at all and to get feedback for our pom and hip hop routines. We will use the judges’ feedback from those first three competitions to make adjustments before dancing at competitions with even more teams like Franklin, Ashwaubenon, and regionals.

“Last year we won conference for the first time, so a goal this year is to accomplish that again. Each year our goal is to grow as a team with our skills and choreography and that is what we have been doing year after year.”

To read the full version of this story see the Jan. 21 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.

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