By Kari Patron/Staff Writer
In only its fifth year of being a competitive dance team, the Missouri Valley College Dance team placed fifth in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship, finishing with an overall score of 79.95. During the final round of performances, the team earned a score of 80.87.
“Our second performance is one that we broke the eighties in, and that was over 20 points higher than we ever had,” said Head Coach Riley Jefferson. “It was awesome, I wish that I could be out there, but I’m so glad in the shoes that I’m in. Watching them and helping them succeed as I wanted to.”
Last year, Missouri Valley’s dance team finished the Conference championship in sixth place by earning an overall score of 56.29.
This is Jefferson’s first year as head coach. Jefferson was on the dance team for three years and was an assistant coach last year before being promoted to head coach this year.
“I have just been trying to give my team the coach that they always wanted,” said Jefferson. “Competitively, we have gone through the roof. We broke both 70s and 80s this year. In the past, we had never even touched that.”
In the 2018-2019 competition season, the dance team performed at their first competition earning scores of 58.7, 58.5, and 56.75 from the three judges. After deductions, the team finished with a final score of 56.4833. This season was also Jefferson’s first season at MVC as an Athlete.
This year’s success is due to Jefferson’s new approach as head coach.
“We have bumped up our practices, lost of summer stuff, stuff over the winter, lots of skills checks, news skills, definitely playing to our strengths instead of our weaknesses like we’ve done in the past. Lots of stuff is different so it’s just been a 180.”
After having such a good season, Jefferson is continuing to work in hopes of growing and improving her team.
“I hope to grow as I coach and I think I have and I will continue to,” said Jefferson. “We were worthy contenders this year.”