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Morris captain ready for sectional competition

Question & Answer - Morris competitive dancer Ashley Gibson

For the first time, Morris Community High School will be hosting a competitive dance sectional. Getting the chance to perform in front of the home crowd this winter is something of a mixed blessing for the Redskins according to senior captain Ashley Gibson.

Gibson agreed to be this week’s Q&A subject and here’s how it went.

Q. I see you were named a captain this year along with Molli Aldrich and Peighton Shannon. When did you find out that you were going to be a captain this year and how do you feel about it?

A. We all found out that we were captains before we headed to camp in August and I was excited but nervous at the same time because it is a lot of responsibility riding on my shoulders.

Q. What kind of responsibility do you feel representing the school as a captain?

A. As captain I feel like it was my responsibility to bring the team together as one because that’s an important part of a winning season. I also feel as if its my job to make sure the team, along with myself, looks good because we do have a reputation to uphold with our school and I don’t want to let them be disappointed by anything we may perform.

Q. How long has the core of this competitive dance team been together and when did you get your start in the sport?

A. Some of the girls on the team have been dancing together forever, while others have only been dancing together for a few years, but as the season goes on it feels like the new girls have been there the whole time. I started competitive dance when I was five years old, but transitioned into poms my freshman year of high school.

Q. What are the qualities that you think makes competitive dance a sport?

A. I personally believe the time and effort we put into competition season is what makes us a sport. I mean just this week we were at the school until 7 p.m. practicing because that’s what its going to take to win. And our season goes pretty much nine months long, and if that doesn’t qualify us for a sport, I don’t know what does.

Q. Let’s move on to this season. How much pressure does the team feel about, not only performing in front of the home town fans for sectional competition, but in regards to repeating as sectional champs from a year ago in Minonk?

A. There is a ton more pressure having sectionals at home and going against Minonk. Knowing how many people could possibly show up for our performance is truly scary because representing Morris with our team, we really don’t want to let the town down. 

Q. After winning the sectional last year, Morris ended up seventh in Class 2A at state. Was that disappointing?

A. It was a little bit disappointing receiving seventh but at the same time it was also rewarding because we actually made it to top 10 out of 70 some teams. But IHSA was new so we really didn’t know what to expect but when it comes down too it, we did great and held our own at the competition because we were the smallest 2A team in the whole state.

Q. What did the team learn from last year that has helped this year’s team compete in the IHSA?

A. We learned what IHSA likes and dislikes somewhat, so we’ve used that to our advantage to create a routine to win them over.

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