As many of you have read in our earlier post, more than a dozen high school dance teams go the amazing opportunity to dance with Justin Timberlake at the Super Bowl LII halftime show. These young ladies took on a TON of extra work at the most busy time of year, the MSHSL Sections. The first Section Saturday was Feb 3 (the day before the big game) and the second was Feb. 10. Every high school dance team performs on one of the two days and that single dance decides which teams go to State (the rest of the year is effectively practice). Can you imagine the pressure?
So what is involved for local talent that gets selected to perform at a Super Bowl halftime? All of the dancers are highly accomplished and can perform under pressure, but how long does it take for a couple hundred dancers to learn a 13 or so minute dance and what support needs to be there to assist with costume and pro changes?
For the dancers, preparation included signing a statement that they would not let the cat out of the bag before the big game…do you remember in High School how hard it was to keep a secret? I have to say I (Matt) am impressed, because I talked with many of these dancers in the final weeks of the regular season (after they had started practices) and was not clued into them dancing at the Super Bowl…to me, this is easily one of the biggest compliments of the entire process.
Aside from keeping a secret this big for several weeks, the dancers were excused from classes (under a shroud of secrecy which, I have been told, was understandably not always easy) and had NINE 5-8 hour practice sessions to learn and perfect the choreography. For most of the teams, this was on top of their regularly schedule early morning practices to refine their school dance routines in preparation for Sections and State.
At the practices, “field directors” made up the choreography team that put the show togehter. High school coaches had the pleasure of watching their girls learn from another teacher and the coaches ended up playing a critical role as assistants to their team, helping with wardrobe and prop setup and changes.
The dancers had a blast, we have been hearing from some of the participants who enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to Justin Timberlake during practice on 1/31 and enjoying S’mores and Hot Chocolate together. Kaitlyn Dipasupil, a captain with the Wayzata Dance Team said “I am so thankful for the opportunity to perform in the SBLII Halftime Show! It was so fun to spend time with my teammates, other dance teams and of course, JT! Game day was crazy fun and I will never forget it!”
The camaraderie that the dancers experienced was special, not only did they make memories with their friends, they got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with many of their rival dancers. Lakeville South dancer, Maggie Farley said: “Getting to dance at the Super Bowl Halftime show with JT was by far the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of…It was so cool to see all of the work that went into making it happen, and all of the different pieces come together to make the show! There won’t be a Super Bowl that goes by where I won’t think of how my friends and I got to dance with JT (Justin Timberlake)!”
Please help me show a special thank you to Rich Moll from Maple Grove, who shared many of the photos used in this article. Please make sure to follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.If you are in the North/Northwest Metro and was awesome portraits, make sure to book Rich early…he really is one of the best. www.richmollphotography.com is his website. You can also fill out our photographer request, mention Rich in your reply and we will get your over to him. Please check out Rich’s full gallery at