Lincoln Southwest and Lincoln East dance teams place at nationals

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln Southwest High School’s dance team, the Emeralds, came in third in the nation out of 11 teams for high kick.

Recently, the Emeralds took a trip to Florida to compete in the UDA National Dance Team Championship in early February.

The team took home a third-place finish in large varsity kick for the first time in program history.

“It feels so good to finally have all of the work we put in pay off at the end of the season,” senior co-captain Hudson Berry said.

Senior Kynlee McBride said, “I have been on the team for four years, and knowing all of our hard work paid off was a big accomplishment for the team and the school.”

It’s an accomplishment that head coach Lindsay Hinze says she has aimed for since taking over the team four years ago.

“We had really humble goals,” she said. “We just wanted to make it to finals, and we were just so thrilled when they called our name to go to finals. I got a video of, the girls were screaming and a parent sent me a video, and I am screaming, so when we found out at the end of Day One that we were in third place, things just shifted and they all realized, ‘Hey we are competitive.'”

Hinze’s journey to the Emeralds began when she started coaching dance at her alma mater, Lincoln Southeast High School.

After a short break to coach studio dance, she jumped at the chance to coach another dance team.

“I remember one of my interview questions was, ‘Why do you want to do this?'” she said. “Which is a genuine question because we don’t make very much money, and I have a full-time job on top of this, and I said, ‘I think it will bring me joy.'”

The Emeralds were not the only local team to place at nationals. Lincoln East’s dance team, the Apollinaires secured eighth place out of 60 teams in the medium jazz division.

“I am thrilled that East had success as well,” Hinze said. “It’s great. Our dance community is stronger when everybody has success.”

Both teams are preparing for state competition, which kicks off Thursday in Grand Island.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports