Panther perform virtually, submit video for state meet

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Seventeen college dance teams and 235 high school dance teams were scheduled to compete in the Iowa State Dance & Drill Team Association’s (ISDTA) Iowa High School and College State Dance Team Championship has been moved up to November 17-19.

     Monticello wasn’t one of them. The Panther dance team competed, but because the Monticello Community School District went to online learning only due to high COVID-19 rates, the dancers submitted videos of their routines to be judged.

     The Panthers recorded the videos Nov. 11, performing three team dances and seven solos.

     Monticello coach Amanda Hackney said she is proud of how the team handled the situation.

     “We were supposed to have seven practices left to prepare before we competed Nov. 18,” Hackney said. “These girls stepped up to the plate. They worked hard, and handled the night with grace and enthusiasm.”

     Monticello is competing in Class II Contemporary Class I Lyrical and Class VIII Pom. Every Panther dancer is also competing a solo. 

     Normally taking place in early December, the The 45th annual competition will see the team and solo championships combined and increased from two days of dancing to three. It will feature nearly 500 routines, plus 780 solos.

     “This spring it became clear many aspects of a typical dance season would need to be re-imagined; practice, competition, and routine choreography would need to be different,” said ISDTA Executive Director Andrea Dana. “ISDTA is focused on preserving the State experience, while ensuring teams and soloists, ISDTA staff, and the association remained safe, and creating opportunity out of the challenges COVID-19 has presented.”

     The award ceremony portion of competition will also look different this year.

     “In order to maintain ISDTA’s high standards of competition, we have invited our judges to evaluate virtually,” said Dana. “Because of this, ISDTA will host a virtual awards ceremony Saturday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m.”

     Teams and soloists earn points for choreography, execution, difficulty, and showmanship.

     Panther coach Hackney said she was thankful for the way her two captains, Ally Bartachek and Sydney Freeze, handled the situation as Monticello performed virtually.

     “They kept the night positive and were true examples of what leadership is,” Hackney said. “We will never forget COVID State.”

     Information will be posted at



Subscriber Login