TCU Dance Team plans Extravaganza

The TCU Dance Team has wowed crowds with their performances at least 12 times so far this season during varsity basketball games. The dancers pictured above are (from left) Mariah Choudek, Julie Trnka, Katrina Reeder, Natalia Balikova and Nikole Zvanovec. (Wade Young Photo)


It has been a rebuilding year for the Tri-City United Dance Team coached by sisters Hilary Birdsell and Andrea Engel, and one that has turned out an accomplished team of dancers that are hard working and fun to watch. 
The team was desperately short of dancers this winter since six of them graduated last spring and three chose not to return. This left the coaches with three experienced dancers and 12 new teammates. Birdsell said that while this was a challenge, the girls have worked hard and come together as a cohesive team.
"This was super hard because there are so many abilities among the group and learning to dance together takes time," she said. "They have worked hard to become a team and it shows."
The team has learned a total of nine dances, and their love for the sport shows each time they take the floor.
"The best part is having a great group of girls that love to dance," said Birdsell. "They have been so fun to see change throughout the season. Their abilities grow so much during the year and it's a lot of fun to watch them dance."
A highlight of their season is the TCU Dance Team Extravaganza to be held in the TCU Middle School Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. The show allows them to showcase their talent with several crowd pleasing performances. And, in the weeks before the show, the team hosts a dance clinic to teach younger girls a dance they will perform at the Extravaganza. Birdsell said that the program has grown from having about 20 young girls participate in the past couple years to a whopping 59 this year. "We put in a lot of hard work, as coaches, to start a program from scratch and it is nice to see it finally growing and taking off," she said.
What performances at the Extravaganza do many look forward to the most? Birdsell said the Light Show and Dad's Dance have been the crowd favorites in the past, and they are sure to please again this year. 
The team is funded by parents and through fundraisers, and Birdsell said she and Engel are thankful for the support, "The girls work really hard for things the team needs. We really appreciate the community support."