Reigning champion dance team returns with hunger for more success

The Masuk High dance team performs at football and basketball games and will compete later this winter. The reigning conference champs in the jazz category, Masuk will look to win another title after teams missed out on the 2020-21 season.

MONROE, CT — Members of the Masuk High dance team are both excited to go out and defend a title and thrilled to finally be back on the floor to perform and compete after an unwelcomed season off.

The reigning South-West Conference jazz category champion Panthers — along with other school squads — missed out on a lot last winter due to coronavirus protocol.

“We’re excited because we didn’t get to compete last year, or perform at all,” captain Kaitlyn DiGiovanni said. “We’ve been working really hard.”

“We’ve been working very hard and we’re definitely growing, not just individually but as a team. I’m very excited to see how it plays out on the competition floor,” captain Julia Wadolkowski said.

Team members have been performing at football and basketball games and, assuming all continues to go well this winter, will have a chance to compete in conference and state championships.

Masuk was runner-up in jazz in the State competition two years ago. The SWC championships are scheduled to be held on Feb. 8 at New Milford High.

Masuk is coached by Alexis Cornut, who competed in dance in school and has taught dance, and whose daughter, Samantha Cornut, is a junior on the squad.

“They’re a fantastic group of girls,” Cornut said of the Panthers.

“I could not be prouder of the effort that each and every one of them has put in. I know they are hungry to win as they did two years ago and I have no doubt that they can do it,” the coach added. “The level of talent these girls have is mind-blowing and I cannot wait to see how it plays out.”

Alexa Cross is the lone freshman on the team and is thrilled to join the squad.

“I’m excited to work together as a team,” said Cross, adding that each individual brings a piece to a collective effort.

“There’s a hunger to go back out on the floor. We missed performing. We all love dancing,” senior Ava Grace added.

Captains are Kaitlyn DiGiovanni, Julia Wadolkowski and Hannah Frost. Other seniors are Grace Adrianna, Lauren Unger and Ava Grace.

Juniors are Samantha Cornut, Meghan Ferris, Alyson Oleyar, Ava Tornay and Peyton Hikade. Sophomores are Emma Campbell, Andreea Rusu, Kiersten Feneley, Sarah Verrastro and Sienna Callahan. Freshman is Alexa Cross.

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