Chevals winter season kicks off this November

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Photo submitted by Kaela Skiba

The Chevals perform at their final home football game of the fall season. The girls show off their new Pom routine Oct. 20.

The Chevals have officially begun their winter season. The Chevals are a competitive dance team who compete and perform both locally, and travel for a few competitions each year. Many girls joined the fall team, and most are expected to audition for the winter team, as well. This year has brought many obstacles due to COVID-19 guidelines, but the girls are working around it to make this season work. 

The Chevals dance team will hold auditions for their winter team the week of Nov. 16. This year will not look the same due to COVID-19, but the team continues to practice and has high hopes to perform this year.

“If more than 23 dancers show up to tryouts, which is likely, then this is how it will go. Dancers will be split into two groups. Group A will try out Monday the 9th…I think! And group B on the 10th. Otherwise if less than 23 show up, all dancers will audition on the 9th. If tryouts are the same as last year, we will learn a short combo and perform it in front of the coaches, along with a variety of jumps, leaps, turns etc,” senior and team captain Fiona Stahl said.

The Chevals do more than simply perform; they have other requirements for members of the team, such as fundraising. The team often has fundraising events at grocery stores and restaurants to raise money for new costumes and equipment.

“Our team tries to take any fundraisers that are offered. We try to do them a couple times a year. We have helped work at the concession stands at SAHS games, Culvers and Chipotle night, and bagged groceries at Kowalskis and Cub! Since our team has grown so much within the last year, we are having to buy new costumes and equipment. We also don’t have mirrors and are dying to buy some! This year we haven’t done many fundraisers due to COVID,” Stahl said.

No matter how many times you practice something, there are so many variables that can and do happen on any given day”

— Megan Soukup

During the winter season, the Chevals perform at varsity basketball games and compete at local high schools. Some of the other high schools that they compete against are Park, Woodbury, East Ridge, Roseville, Irondale and many more. 

“We slowly keep receiving more about what it will look like this year, but as of right now we know that teams will have a certain time slot to be at the location of the competition. This is different from last year because all teams would be at the school at the same time, but this year only about three teams will be there at a time. You will perform and then leave right away. Each dancer will get to bring two guests to watch them perform. You would usually be at the competition all day and wait for awards, but they will be sending awards out later in the day after you have left the school. I believe the team sizes have to be a bit smaller this year as well. Thankfully, we do get to hook up for kick lines, which is very nice! That is about all the info we have right now,” Stahl said.

 This year will look a little different than most years because of COVID-19 and will be constantly evolving throughout the season. As of now, I plan on our varsity, junior varsity and B-Squad teams to compete at all of the conferences, ” coach Megan Soukup added.

Kick is a very high contact style of dance. This year some changes have to be made to suit COVID-19 guidelines, such as not connecting during practice, as well as being physically distanced.

“We have heard so far that we will be able to connect up for kicks but since it is such high contact, we will be limiting the amount we do actually connect up. We will be learning and practicing our kicks without holding on in certain spots in our dance and then when competition comes we will connect for the whole dance,” junior Sophie Privette added. 

This year the Chevals made a change to their teams by offering a B squad this year. In the past, the team only had five dancers, but last year they ended up with around 25 performers. The B squad was created since the team is expecting more people to try out.

Privette said the “Chevals have a varsity team, a JV team, and a new addition this year is B-squad”. B-squad is new this year because of how many girls joined the team.

Due to the uncertainty this year has brought, many of the girls are very excited to have a winter season. Many anticipated that there would be no dance this year due to the virus, yet they have made it work.

“I am just looking forward to having a winter season! With all the uncertainties of school being open or not and what it will look like for winter sports, I am crossing my fingers that we are able to have a season and are still able to travel to competitions,” Privette said. 

“This season I am very excited for all the returning girls to be back, along with new girls that have joined fall and are planning on trying out for winter! Last season we had a new head coach, Megan Soukup, who was amazing and I’m so happy she is coming back!” Stahl added.

We are all aware that this year brings uncertainty and challenges, but the Chevals have a plan for everything. The girls are very thankful to have a season this year and cannot wait to go back to dancing.