Mystique places at Nationals
More stories from Kailin Zhang
March 18, 2019
The girls stand under the spotlight.
They dance. They leap. They turn.
Then, their moment on stage ends – built through months of practice and dedication.
Varsity Mystique had their moment to shine at the National Dance Alliance (NDA) National Championship in Orlando, Fla., where they placed sixth in Large Varsity Team Performance and thirteenth overall for Large Division Jazz on March 3 and 4.
Mystique improved their ranking from preliminaries, where the team had scored seventh in mix and fifteenth in jazz.
Senior Diana Biribin, co-captain, said said she was both excited about the results, as well as pleased because the team had been working hard all year long. She was proud of their scores because Mystique had reached their goal of making it to finals.
Biribin said compared to previous years where the dancers had mostly all known each other, there were a lot of new faces on Mystique.
“It was hard to get everyone involved and feel together at first, but I feel like we really accomplished that,” Biribin said.
Biribin said she hopes next year’s team continues to love it as much as they did this year, and to continue to work hard in order to keep improving.
“It’s been my favorite part of high school, so I hope they carry through with loving Mystique and just pushing as hard as they can because the end result will be worth it,” Biribin said.
Abby van Deven, sophomore, said during the season, Mystique practiced three times a week – Monday and Tuesday after school and Thursday in the morning.
After competing, Mystique spent Monday, March 5, exploring Universal Studios before returning home.
Van Deven said despite her coming from a different school last year, the Mystique girls feel like her second family. The team helped her branch out and become friends with not only sophomores, but girls from all four grade levels as well.
Meredith Plein, senior, said she was ecstatic when she found out how Mystique had placed this year. Plein said the team performed wonderfully for the categories they were in, which were extremely competitive because Nationals this year had more competitors than any previous year.
Plein said one of the most important things the team zoned in on this year was mindset. She said Mystique worked really hard all year, and wanted to give the competition their full effort.
“We went in and we did what we had to do, and just focused on us,” Plein said. “Our team quote was ‘no bad vibes.’”
Sara Genetti, Mystique coach, said when the coaches found out about the scores, all three started screaming and immediately ran backstage to go see the girls.
Genetti said one of the most important things that has gotten the team to where they are now was the attitude of not taking competitions that lead up to Nationals, such as Regionals and State, for granted.
“In the past teams have kind of sidestepped that and really just focused on Nationals, but this year we tried to take every event and make it special,” Genetti said. “When you look back on the year, we are able to remember and appreciate all the competitions that led us to that point.”
Above all else, Genetti said she hopes to continue to see a team of teenage girls in the future who respect each other and get along.
“They need to have the mindset of working and working outside of practice,” Gentti said. “Being successful, but having fun and doing it the right way is extremely important.”
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Kailin Zhang, junior, is the Associate Editor for the Messenger. She is the co-president of FBLA and runs track. She enjoys shopping and traveling.