Stevenson draws inspiration from sports movies
A member of Stevenson's dance team performs with her squad during the Class 3A state competition Friday. | Clark Brooks~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 1, 2013 1:28PM
Stevenson returned home from the first-ever competitive dance state meet as the runner-up in Class 2A, posting a score of 96.45 during Saturday’s final round to trail only champion Maine South (98.36).
Six of Stevenson’s 23 team members combined forces to choreograph the team’s routine, which was inspired by a pair of sports-themed movies: “Any Given Sunday” and “Miracle.” Each of the six — senior captains Jenna Sherman and Hanna Matseshe, along with seniors Jamie Spruce, Alyssa Sexner and Kalei Sorenson, and junior Ari Cohen — were chosen for the job by teammates via a vote last summer.
Spruce said the half-dozen choreographers came up with an idea to base the routine on inspirational speeches because they we wanted to do something that would stand out. They selected “Any Given Sunday” and “Miracle” because they believed “the speeches from those movies were the most powerful,” Spruce said.
The six Patriots spliced portions of the speeches — including the pep talk given by Team USA hockey coach Herb Brooks (portrayed by Kurt Russell) prior to his team’s miraculous victory over Russia in the 1980 Winter Games — and blended them into the choreography.
“It’s about being a team, and working together as a team,” Stevenson coach Kristin Piekarski said. “There’s emotion they express — a determination — because the idea is, you’re on your own … lost, and the motion of the piece builds into a sense of unity.”
Spruce said the fact that the routine was not brought in by an outside choreographer “helped us put even more emotion into it. Knowing we came up with it, we put our whole heart into it. We can make it special for us, and put things in that work for us so it’s not a generic routine. It’s our creation, and we can show exactly what we feel. The speeches are about ‘team,’ so it’s a general concept that connects with everyone.”
Added Piekarski: “There’s good choreography out there that you pay for, but we have girls who do it on their own. It’s become part of our tradition.”