April 01, 2023

For the love of dance

Grace Klobnak has grown up loving dance. Of those on the Nodaway Valley dance team, which has recently been resurrected for the first time since the pandemic, the freshman likely isn’t the only one who has loved to dance for a lot of her young life.

Then there are others, who haven’t ever danced before. Dance coach Sami Harris said it doesn’t matter. All of the over 15 dance team members have put in the hard work to learn their routines and were rewarded for it by a great season.

Klobnak is one who came into high school and there wasn’t a dance team. She’s grateful Harris stepped in and made dance a reality again at the school.

The dance team performed Friday during halftime of the boys basketball game against Southeast Warren.

“I love dance because it helps you express your feelings through something other than words,” Klobnak said. “Lyrical and ballet [are what I used to do]. This was my first time doing pom. Pom has quick movements and with transitions so it can be hard to keep up with everybody.”

A Nodaway Valley graduate, Harris danced in high school herself. In fact, Klobnak’s mother, Dani, who is a former dance coach herself, helped choreograph some of the dances Harris did in high school.

Harris is in her second year teaching at the high school. She had a couple of girls ask her why Nodaway Valley doesn’t have a dance team, so she decided to start one up again. She put a sign up in the school’s office, and the rest is history.

Harris remembers her high school dancing days and was eager to be able to give that opportunity to the students she serves.

“I didn’t know what kind of numbers we’d have because in past years we’ve had kind of a smaller team. We ended up having a lot of interest,” Harris said. “We started kind of late, after the deadline had passed to compete at state, so we did kind of a fun Christmas routine, then a pom routine tonight that we’ve been working on.”

The group practices at least twice weekly on their routine. These girls are also busy doing other things, such as studying for their classes, playing basketball, and many other things.

“We have kids who have [a dance] background and also a lot of them who haven’t ever danced before. They’ve done a great job of putting in the time to learn the moves. It has all worked out really well,” Harris said. “I’ve dance my whole life too, and I always looked up to those who were older than me. One of my favorite things when I was in high school was to dance at the basketball games. It’s cool to now see others do it and to be able to help them learn the routine.”

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.