Dancing in the Dark: Mankato East Dance Company performs March 18-20 | Lifestyles

Darkness drowned Mankato East High School’s auditorium as the Mankato East Dance Business stepped on the phase.

The crew took in excess of, taking their stance to rehearse their finale for their approaching display — Dancing in the Darkish — taking location these days by way of the weekend. Vivid and vibrant lights hit the background, illuminating the uniformed dancers.

The scene’s regular as just about every 12 months the dance crew prepares for its initially clearly show in the time.

“I love it!” said captain Arissa Leddy as the staff finished the dance.

A chief and motivator using her role severely to continue to keep spirits up, Leddy voiced encouraging and uplifting messages to the group — by means of Zoom.

The COVID-19 pandemic adjusted every thing globally and loaded many with uncertainty, like for the Mankato East Dance Company. Normally the dance team’s display is in the bitter cold of winter. This 12 months the present was pushed back to mid-March.

The team, particularly senior captains Leddy, Jordyn Kenward and Abbie Vostad, are just pleased to be carrying out.



East dance 2

Masked and ready to dance, Mankato East Dance Business prepares for its finale in the 1st overall performance of the season “Dancing in the Dim.”



“We’re just happy that we can have a year at all,” Vostad explained. “Even if it experienced to be pushed back.”

“I’m extremely grateful that we get to have a period no matter of the whole pandemic,” Leddy stated. “I’m just glad that our group is so limited wherever it feels like we’re not in a pandemic — we’re just chilling.”

Even though the crew has faced a few problems and hurdles together the way — carrying masks, some members quarantining, sanitizing and distancing — the captains just take pride in their work and the crew.

“We’ve had our struggles,” Kenward reported, talking to the pandemic’s troubles. “Everyone’s just experienced a truly positive perspective.”

“I’m also just happy of how we have been capable to continue to be on best of all the things and get our dances finished on time and educate them,” Vostad claimed. “Everyone was just in advance of the game.”

Leddy’s proud of the staff of 25, also, in particular in how shut they’ve turn into. “We have all come to be just one,” she mentioned.



East dance 3

Mankato East Dance Company’s time began later on this yr but the team is elated to have a season at all. The dances were being choreographed and designed by the learners.



This year’s group membership was capped at 25 — the specific amount of pupils who auditioned.

The masks posed as a problem mentioned mentor Nancy Kowalski.

“You’re sucking in your individual air and it does not rejuvenate,” Kowalski mentioned. “So we’ve taken a ton additional breaks and h2o breaks, and haven’t pushed really hard.”

But this year, with a later start off, it delivered the dance staff a handful of a lot more follow days that aided. Even with the apprehension of whether or not or not the year would begin, Kowalski and Lindsey Northenscold are grateful to be in a position to have their pupils dance.

“All yr very long, we had a ‘We’re heading to make this work’ sort of motto,” Kowalski explained. “It’s been a finding out lesson for every person, specially the girls and seeking to figure out what our legitimate abilities are and just supporting them.”

Struggling with the unforeseen that will come with COVID each day, the dance team pulled with each other to adapt seamlessly to every single improve, Northenscold mentioned. She’s very pleased of their versatility as a result of it all.

“And in common, the talent amazes me calendar year to year,” Northenscold explained.

The team gears up March 18 for its to start with performance of the weekend and time — a person they’ll keep in mind not only because of to unprecedented moments but a sentimental previous year for the seniors.

“I’m thrilled to see it all come with each other,” Kenward mentioned. “I’m energized for anyone to be dancing on stage as a staff.”

This year’s theme normally takes on the inspiration of the animated movie “Home” showcasing Rihanna as the key character. The track “Dancing in the Dark” comes from the film’s soundtrack.

“It just feels quite … nearly sentimental,” Vostad mentioned. “It’s a genuinely superior ending — it hits house for our previous yr.”