RV Dance Team heads to Nationals

In their 24th season, the four-time National Champs are eyeing their fifth title


RV Dance Team Instagram

The Dance Team huddles before their January Reach for the Stars performance

Alana Chen, Arts & Culture Writer

The Rancocas Valley Dance Team, a four-time National Champion team, is on its way to the Nationals Competition while celebrating their 24th anniversary as a team. They have been preparing for nationals since the summer, conditioning and getting in shape for the season. 

This year they will be showcasing two performances at nationals; a kick routine and a team routine which consists of pom, kick, jazz and hip hop. The 2023 RV Dance Team consists of 23 dancers; 6 freshmen, 2 sophomores, 11 juniors and 4 seniors. Team coaches April Wagner and Shannon Yesner are ecstatic to be taking their team to nationals this year.

“I am so excited to go to nationals this year,” said coach Wagner. “I think we have a great chance of bringing home a national championship.” 

Leading up to nationals, the RV Dance team raised lots of money in fundraisers to assist in the payment of such a big trip. In January of every year, the team hosts a large fundraiser named Reach For the Stars Dance Show. In this show, the team showcases their two nationals performances as well as other performances choreographed by some of the members on the team using their creativity and skill. This year, the team showcased other performances from some other groups such as Westampton Middle School, the Color Guard, dance technique classes and the RVDT Sweethearts. With this, the team was able to raise a large amount of money that would help with the payment for their nationals in March. 

RVDT has won four national championships over the 24 years of being a team. In 2010, they won a National Championship with their kick routine; in 2011, RVDT brought home a National Championship with their team dance. They also earned a kick championship title in both 2014 and 2018. The team is hoping to bring home a national title this year as the dancers feel very confident in their performances.

“We have a very high chance of bringing home the national trophy and the jacket,” said junior and third-year dance team member Solaya Rios. “We have the foundation with the choreography and the costumes, we just need to apply our skills and facial expressions and we will be able to win.” 

The team practices typically four days a week, Monday through Thursday, from 2:45- 5:00 p.m. The dancers have been on this practice regiment since the beginning of the school year starting from September. The dancers are required to practice at their own local studios outside of practice and take technique classes to better their skills. 

Their team performance choreographer, Matthew Kirschenheiter, recently visited the RV Dance Team to improve the choreography of the team performance. The improvements made will accentuate the dancers’ skills and technique more than the choreography already has. The kick dance, titled “Beautiful Day” sung by U2, has been choreographed by dance team alumni. The team has been making many changes to both dances to improve the creativity of the choreography for a higher chance of winning a national championship. 

The RV Dance Team has been putting in a lot of work to get ready for their nationals performances. With the help of their coaches and choreographer, the team has been able to put together two pieces that will best accentuate the skill of the dancers. The team is quite ecstatic to attend NDA Nationals in Florida this year and hope their hard work pays off as they win a national title.