“The comeback is greater than the setback”: RV’s dance team is back in full force

After months of Zoom practices and independent workouts, the dance team returns to the stage


Photo courtesy of RV's Dance Team Facebook page

RV’s dance team practiced on the football field on Wednesday

Glynnis Bastas, Arts & Culture Writer

Art comes in many different forms, such as theatre and performance, singing, literature, comedy and other various derivatives of those mentioned above. Many people who aspire to study the arts have a true passion for their craft. There are hours of practice, studying, learning and perfecting.  RV’s nationally ranked dance team is a testament to this, even more so this year as they face the adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

RV is known for its incredible dance team, coached by April Wagner. She is the mastermind behind it all, founding the idea for the team in 1995, and making it official in 1999. The in-school dance studio was built in 2003, and the rest is history.

This club has had many, many successes over the years. According to the RVRHS website, “The RV Dance Team has participated every year placing amongst the top teams in the country. They have won the championship four times. In 2010, they placed first in the Small Varsity Kick division, in 2011, they won the Large Varsity Team Performance division, in 2014 they won the Small Varsity Kick division and in 2018 they won the Medium Varsity Kick division. The dance team holds many events throughout the year and holds numerous fundraisers to earn money for their trip to Florida.”

In a recent interview with Coach Wagner, we discussed a one particular win: the time they won first place and an award for Best Choreography at the Florida National Championships. They performed “Be Our Guest” from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The skill exhibited that year by the team was sophisticated, and the costumes, which resemble Lumière the candlestick from the movie, tied it together perfectly. The girls moved as one across the stage, each step perfectly synchronized and executed flawlessly.

Sadly, all of these major events and practices have been postponed due to the pandemic. The team has had to practice virtually over the past year. It gets especially difficult because the team cannot be in-person to practice and learn the technique properly.

“The hardest part is definitely keeping our motivation,” said senior officer Jenna Pasquarello.” “I have seen that it is hard to even keep the girls positive and motivated in person. Being online it is really hard to stay…excited for the season when we aren’t even sure what the ‘season’ will bring. It is also extremely hard to get the practice we need when so many of the girls have little room or the right equipment to practice the skills in our dances.”

In the face of all the setbacks, Coach Wagner and her team have put in an–dare we say it–unprecedented amount of effort into every practice and meeting that they have together.

We are very excited about finally starting our season this year, despite COVID-19 we will persevere and have a positive mental attitude,” Wagner said. Their motto this year is “The Comeback is greater than the Setback.”

Despite all of the trials and tribulations of COVID-19 and the decrease of in-person practices and competitions, RV is still looking forward to having the team compete and perform in championships to come. Fortunately, the team was able to have its first in-person practice this past Monday. The next state championship is set for March and the nationals are scheduled for April. This is the last chance for seniors to compete with their teammates, something many of them are not taking lightly. 

“I am hoping for adaptations to be made to get the most out of this year,” said Pasquarello. “I would like to be able to perform for the community, even if it is outside following all of the COVID guidelines. I truthfully would just like a chance to dance with my team in person one last time however we can. I would like to have something memorable this season even if it is something that we have never done before.”

To keep up with the RV Dance Team you can follow their Instagram @rv_danceteam.