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Panthers are prepped

Just under two weeks away from its season debut, the Glencoe-Silver Lake dance team is hard at work in the school’s Lincoln Gym.
Time is short, and the Pantherettes are busy getting their routines in order for the season opener at Hutchinson on Saturday, Dec. 2.
Head coach Bertina Miller drills her team diligently, with an eye towards every single detail. The team has been a work in progress over the years under her guidance, and GSL’s determination from season to season is showing in the program’s growth.
“This will be the first year that every varsity dancer has performed at a competition before,” she said. “Twelve of our varsity girls are returning dancers and two have moved up from the junior varsity.”
There are 19 dancers in all in this year’s Pantherettes program, with 12 competing in varsity high kick and jazz with two alternates.
It’s still a young team – three captains are sophomores and a fourth is a junior – but the squad continues to trend upward. Both the varsity and JV teams will compete in high kick and jazz, the two components of a dance competition.
“These girls have been a joy to work with,” Miller said. “Dance practice is a highlight to my day.”
Miller gives much of the credit for the program’s continued rise to her volunteer coaches, Sam Cornell and Catie Holtz – both former team members.
“They have dedicated a lot of time and energy into this team and expect nothing in return,” Miller said. “Building this team would be nearly impossible without them.”
This season, Miller looks for continued improvement from her team over its two-month season from December to February.
“Their passion and drive grows every year they return and it has been astounding to see how much their skills have grown already in only a month of practice,” she said of her dancers.
The Pantherettes will host the Wright County Conference Jazz meet on Thursday, Jan. 11, as part of its currently slated seven-meet schedule. Miller hopes for a big turnout from Panther fans for the event.
“The girls are really wanting to have a big fan section this year and hoping for more support for our community,” she said. “We would love to fill the stands with Panther fans.”