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New Richmond dance team sweeps regional titles

Members of the regional champion New Richmond dance team include (front, l-r) Erika Bohmke, Ari Ziemer, Kim Miller, Megan Chelberg, Leah Bauer and Madison Seeger; (middle) Molly O'Brien, Deidre Cuno, Erin Earley, Callie Larrabee and Emma Bakke; (back) Jensen Hagen, Harley Leavens, Jordan Peterson, Chloe Fankhauser and Coach Ali Saliny.1 / 4
The New Richmond dance team performed in sharp precision as they worked through the elements of their dance routine.2 / 4
St. Croix Central's Natalie Holter (front) and Rachel Holden leap high into the air as part of the team's dance routine.3 / 4
The Somerset dance team performed a high-energy, active routine in the dance competition at Saturday's regional meet.4 / 4

For the second straight year, the New Richmond High School dance team has swept regional titles in the pom and dance divisions.

New Richmond was the host school for the WACPC Western Dance Regional for the first time on Saturday. Teams from 46 schools competed in meet. There are three regional meets held around the state to determine the qualifiers for this Saturday's WACPC State Championships at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse.

The New Richmond High School gym was packed with fans and competitors. Nearly 1,700 wristbands were issued, along 650 athletes and 62 coaches competing in the meet. New Richmond coach Ali Saliny said it took a huge amount of support from the dance team parents and community members to make the meet run smoothly.

"It really couldn't have gone off any better," Saliny said.

The same could be said for the Tigers' performance. They were a polished team that drew echoing rounds of applause with their routines. The Tigers' long hours of practice showed in the precision of their movements.

"Both of our performances were great, but our kick routine was unbelievable," Saliny said. "We won by nearly 45 points, beating out seven other teams. The team really peaked this weekend, they gave their best performances of the year."

St. Croix Central

The St. Croix Central dance team will also be performing at state. The Panther squad took fourth place in the Division 4 pom competition to qualify for Saturday's state championships in La Crosse. The Panthers just missed getting their jazz routine to state, placing seventh in that event.

"There are a lot of really good teams and we are lucky to be going to state," said Central dance team advisor Kayla Dimler. "Our goal for Regionals was to do our best.  We told the girls that we wanted them to go out there and give it their all."

The Panthers are scheduled to perform on Saturday afternoon at the state meet.


Somerset's second-year team just missed qualifying for state with both routines. The Somerset squad placed sixth in both the pom and kick competition under coaches Hailley Leverty and Tara Montgomery.

"Overall, we had a very productive season with many firsts," Leverty said. "It was our first year as an official school activity, our first year competing in more than one category at regionals, our first year competing with a duet at conference and all went well."

There are two more routines planned for the Spartans. Team captains Hanna Barritt and Laura Moulton will be performing a duet at halftime of the Somerset boys basketball game on Feb. 7. The full team will give its final performance at halftime of the boys basketball game on Feb. 15.