The Eden Prairie Performance Team (EPPT) delivered three high-octane performances as it hosted several metro area dance teams at a showcase on Oct. 8.
Held on a sunny autumn day at Eden Prairie High School’s (EPHS) Aerie Stadium, the event also featured Blaine Dance Team, Chaska Fall Performance Team, Edina Junior Varsity and Varsity Hornettes, Edina Hip Hop, Holy Family, Minnetonka Junior Varsity and Varsity Performance Team, Maple Grove Dance Team, and St. Kate’s Dance Team.
“The showcase serves as a recital to round off the season,” said EPPT head coach and EPHS alumna Emily Ophus. “It’s a chance for all of the teams to show what they can do, and also see what their competition will be like for the winter season.”
The showcase has become an annual tradition — this was the seventh time EPPT has hosted it since 2015, with a year off in 2020 due to the pandemic.
EPPT’s 50-strong team performed three different routines — two hip-hop routines choreographed by seniors, and a “combo” routine that contained aspects of jazz, kick, and pom, Ophus said.
“The team danced this routine to a JLo mix, which was very fun and exciting,” Ophus said. “They ended the routine with a long, 50-dancer kickline, which is always a crowd pleaser.”
The fall performance team is an athletic sport that follows Lake Conference guidelines, although the teams do not compete. “The Eden Prairie Performance Team is just that — a performance team. We live for school spirit and performing as well as interacting with the school at football games, soccer games, pepfests, etc. It is a great opportunity to be involved without the pressure of competition,” Ophus said.
EPHS parents who watched the homecoming pep fest livestream in September will have seen the team perform for fellow students in the EPHS gym. EPPT also coached the “Senior Shuffle” performance. In addition to performing, Ophus and coaches Jenna Knutson and Lindsay Steinke focus on conditioning and preparing the team for the winter dance season.
This year, 21 of EPPT’s 50 dancers are seniors, with seven senior captains: Faith Black, Anna Boedigheimer, Siri Kotonias, Ava Rotsch, Kahlen Ruzek, Lauryn Unke, and Mara Wiley.
Ophus said she has coached the senior class for the last four years.
“They are an extremely talented and passionate group of dancers — from their creativity in choreography to their school spirit at football games, they have an immense energy about them,” she said. “I am excited to see what they will do in their competitive winter season.”
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