Home sweet home for dancers

MARSHALL – Marshall dance team members said to expect a lot of cheering, along with the atmosphere of the 1950s at this year’s hometown meet.

The annual Marshall Dance Team Invitational will start at 10 a.m. Saturday and will be in the Marshall High School gym. This year’s competition will feature 13 varsity and junior varsity dance teams from around the region.

“It’s all the surrounding towns,” said Marshall dance team co-captain Hannah Pfeiffer. Some of the local teams taking part in Saturday’s invitational include Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, Lakeview, Canby/Minneota and Lac qui Parle Valley-Dawson/Boyd.

Pfeiffer said the invitational is a good one for single-A teams.

“It’s like a mini-state for them,” she said.

Marshall dance team co-captain Josie Nelson said the team sends out a “save the date” card to area dance teams the summer before the season starts, when coaches are planning which competitions to go to.

“Every year, they (the invitationals) seem to get better and better,” Nelson said. And this year, some more AA schools will be in the invitational, she said.

“It’s very fun for us and the other teams to come to our school and check it out,” Pfeiffer said.

Nelson said the Marshall team is excited to have more involvement with the visiting teams and learning from each other.

The dance team captains said they enjoy performing in front of a hometown crowd for the annual invitational.

“It’s always fun to be home instead of traveling,” Pfeiffer said about the invitational.

Plus, the team appreciates the community support, Pfeiffer said.

“It’s fun to see our friends come,” she said, as well as out-of-town relatives and grandparents.

“It’s always more fun doing it (competition) on your own floor,” said Marshall dance team head coach Amber Jans.

Nelson and Pfeiffer said the dance team parents do a lot in putting together the event. There’s usually a theme, with this year’s featuring the ’50s.

“The parents are really getting creative this year,” Nelson said.

There will be a coaches’ room, Pfeiffer said.

“They always get little gift bags as a thank-you for coming to the invitational,” she said.

There’s also a lot of support from local businesses, Pfeiffer said, which includes items for the invitational.

The invitational also gives people a chance to see what the Marshall dance team has been working on all year. Pfeiffer said the Marshall team has improved every week.

“Which we always want to see,” she said. She said that the team worked on cardio during the holiday break and is preparing for sectional competition in the coming weeks.

As a high school senior, Pfeiffer said this year’s invitational is a little bittersweet.

“It’s kind of sad because it’s my last one,” Pfeiffer said.

Nelson said people should expect to hear a lot of noise at the invitational Saturday.

“You’re going to hear a lot of cheering, a lot of cheering,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be crazy in that gym.”