‘Dog Days’ and broken busses

The Sensations take on Chicagoland with insight on their heartfelt routine and their unfortunate bus trip home.


Junior Mackenzie Ryan being lifted by her teammates during their Jazz performance at the Varsity girls basketball game.

The Sensations started off the New Year and new semester with a bus, an opportunity, and an unexpected return home. On Friday, Jan. 4, the team packed up their makeup, costumes, and hair spray for their last competition before nationals: Chicagoland.  

Five hours in a bus surrounded by your besties, parents, and coaches make for crowded but eventful time. With nerves high and smiles wide the team arrived ready to take the competition by storm and dance their hearts out.

Chicagoland is a yearly endeavor for the team. It is a chance for them to compete against not only local teams from Missouri, but teams from across the midwestern area. These teams are among the top nationally-ranked teams and provide a healthy basis for the team as to how put together their routine is. Chicagoland allows for the girls to get a sneak peek of what their competitors will be performing at nationals.

“The competition level is a little harder at Chicago because we’re dancing against National Champions where as Lindberg it’s local teams so it’s not as big,” senior Amber Titus said.

But as daunting and intimidating as this competition sounds, the girls were nothing short of thrilled. Senior Danielle Foster described the atmosphere of the bus ride on the way to Chicago.

“We’re all sitting on the bus, excited! We’re on our way to compete, our favorite thing,” Foster said.

Making the activities that took place on the bus a reflection of this enthusiastic energy.

Shaffer Brown, a sophomore and two-year varsity returner, described the bus trip up to Chicago and revealed the team’s unique ways to pass the time.  

“We have little music sessions where we just jam out on the way there. And then we also played a little Kahoot with everybody to get to know everyone more and see how many they got right. It was very fun,” Brown said.

The girls ended the weekend ranking 3rd in hip hop and 4th in jazz. While both routines are dearly loved, this years jazz routine has a deeper meaning close to the team’s hearts.

“As a whole, the dance means so much to us. There is just so much emotion and meaning behind it. Because last year was a very rough year for us with Mrs. Fetsch being in the hospital and having the fight of her life. And so for us, we had to fight for every performance. And this year our song is ‘Dog Days are Over.’ So for us, that dance means so much,” said Foster.

Exhausted from their heartfelt performances, the team loaded up on the bus, ready to make the trek home. Unfortunately, the trip would not be smooth sailing.

“Our bus broke down and we had to pull off the highway into a gas station. Eureka’s dance team was nice enough to come pick us up and take us to the bus place to get a new bus to come home,” Titus said.

Now some might raise the question of the tension between the competing teams on one bus together, but Titus explained that they call it the “dance community” so everyone gets along.

The girls finally made it home safe and sound, ready to hit the hay after their hard work and bus ordeal. Moving forward look for the team to continue to raise their intensity as they prepare for Nationals. Follow them at @FHC_Sensations to stay updated