Young Starliners Still Hold Big Goals

The Holy Angels dance team might be youthful, but the end goal is still a shot at a state championship.

The is young, and it has a brand new coaching staff this winter. But the Starliners’ reputation as a top-tier program in Class AA is still in tact, and they’ve got no intentions of changing their goals of reaching the state meet.

So as Holy Angels prepares for Saturday’s Chaska Invitational, its first chance to compete in Jazz this season, the Starliners continue to refine each move and help their youthful squad become more and more polished.

“The longer you know a dance, the more familiar you are with it and the more you can do it in your sleep,” senior co-captain Michelle DePauw said. “That just comes with time and doing it over and over again.”

Holy Angels finished third out of six teams at Tuesday’s Missota Conference meet, trailing Chaska and Chanhassen in the High Kick competition.

While there is room for improvement, first-year coach Brittany Fowler said she couldn’t ask for a better performance out of her team to start the year. The next step is building on that each time they take the floor.

“They made a great first impression,” Fowler said. “A lot of teams are looking at us, because we have such a young team with a whole new coaching staff. And they left a legacy here, coaching for 10 years before retiring.”

Previous coach Kelly Newlin and her staff left the program this season, as did a slew of seniors who led the team a year ago. This year’s squad has four seniors on its 23-dancer roster, including eight sophomores and one freshman, according to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) website.

Junior co-captain Madison Gallardo said she’s pleased with how the team is performing early in the season.

“I was really surprised; they dove right in and didn’t look back,” Gallardo said. “They just hit the ground running, and they’re doing really well.”

The road between an early December meet and sections in February is long, and the Starliners will have ample opportunities to continue refining their skills along the way.

But Holy Angels has a reputation and a desire to win, and that combination can go a long way in helping a youthful team find success.

“I’m excited to show everyone what we’ve got,” senior co-captain Ashley Marback-Laddusaw said. “I’m a little nervous, but I’m also really confident because I think we’re going to do really well.”


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