When it comes to masks, the decision will be easy for the Jordan dance team.
“We are lucky enough that our costumes would match a simple black mask,” Jaguars second-year coach Shana Bydal said.
But that’s the only thing that’s been easier for the team over the last six months due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In-person practices have started for Jordan and the team will get to compete this winter.
But it will be a different season with a different feel to it. Dance usually starts in November with section and state competitions the first two weeks of February.
There will be section competitions this fall, but the Minnesota State High School League won’t decided until February if there will be a state competition. There were none for all of the fall sports.
Jordan’s first competition is set for Jan. 21 in Delano.
When Gov. Tim Walz shut down youth and high school sports for four weeks back on Nov. 18 and extended it two more weeks through the holiday break, Jordan was left to work on its routines over Zoom meetings.
“It has been a difficult year,” Bydal said. “The COVID-19 restrictions began over the summer during our summer practices. These restrictions and changes are not new to our dancers. As coaches, we have been very lucky because the dancers on this team are extremely resilient.
“The dancers have always maintained a positive attitude about any changes or restrictions and that says a lot about their character,” Bydal said. “We are very proud of them.”
The Jaguars will be led this winter by sophomore Avery Peters, junior Elysette Ortiz and eighth-graders Karly Kirkpatrick, Kenzie Ostermann and Kyah Gralow. Peters is the team’s head captain.
“We have smaller numbers this year, but have pending dancers looking to join next season,” Bydal said. “We are excited to have some sort of season even if it is a bit different from our normal.”
Last winter, Jordan finished 10th in jazz and 12th in high kick in the Section 2AA meet. The team was fifth in both dances in the Minnesota River Conference Championships.
Peters was all-conference last year, while Gralow was an honorable mention.
Jordan is in a new conference this winter and will compete against teams in the Wright County Conference.
“Our ultimate hope is that the team can have an enjoyable season considering the circumstances,” Bydal said. “Like everyone else, it has been a challenging year. As coaches we want to keep as much normalcy as possible, but to really focus on enjoying our season and each other.
“The goal this season is to continue pushing forward as a team working on our technique and building strength as a team.”