Centralettes aerial into action

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Madeline Andrews (9) prepares to do her aerial like she would in the dance so when she is doing it in the dance she will be used to the feeling of it. Andrews was previously a gymnast and it took her about six months to get the feeling of an aerial and about a year to get over the fear of not putting her hands down when she went for the aerial.

Kristina Plaskett

This year, the Centralettes are trying something new and working on acrobatic skills. One of the goals that the team has is to get a full team aerial.  An aerial is a no-handed cartwheel that is a trick typically shown in gymnastics or dance.

“I was really happy [when I got my aerial]  because I have been wanting it since last year, and I have always been trying to take extra classes to try and help me get that. It was very satisfying for me to achieve that, ” Emma Strohacker (11) said.

With the season coming close to the start, the team is preparing to go to their first competition on Dec. 6.  Before they go to their first competition, some of the girls need to recover from their injuries.

“I’m starting to feel a bit like Coach Thibodeau of the Bulls with the sudden rash of preseason injuries. However, it won’t be long before I expect all of my dancers to be off the sidelines and dancing with their teammates in pursuit of another championship,” Coach Kevin Mathis said.

The injuries may have hurt some of the girls, but they don’t plan on letting that stop them from moving on and preparing for whatever comes their way.

“It was hard at first because I feel like I kind of took a step back, but once I sat out and watched how it went, it kind of helped me. When I was back in, I realized what I was doing wrong or what I was missing,” Reyna Crothers (11) said.

Even though it has been a rocky start to the season, the team does not plan on letting that hold them back from achieving what they work for everyday.

“I think we started out really well considering we lost nine seniors and that’s a lot to rebuild. I’m excited to see how this season’s going to go.  I think we’ve started out pretty strong and we’re going to just keep going up,” Strohacker said.

Not only is the team ready to take on this season, but so is the coach.

“We want to remain humble and better than the year before.  To some, these goals may be mutually exclusive.  For us, it’s been one of the cornerstones of our success story.  The Centralettes are undefeated in state competition for 20 consecutive years and have won nationals four out of the past five years.  To have the opportunity to hang another championship banner, my dancers have to respect their opponents as well as the person standing next to them in rehearsal,” Mathis said.