Cassopolis’ Westrate becomes first member of SMC Dance Team

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, March 26, 2022

DOWAGIAC — Kennedy Westrate, of Cassopolis High School and Legacy Dance Studio, has signed a National Junior College Athletic Association letter of intent to join first-team Southwestern Michigan College Dance Team Coach Laura Odenwald.

Westrate has 14 years of dance experience and is proficient in many styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, modern/contemporary, clogging and musical theater.

“Kennedy is a kind, hardworking, and passionate person and dancer,” said Ali Minegar of Legacy Dance Studio. “She lights up our studio in the most positive ways. We will greatly miss her, but are so excited to see where her future takes her.”

Odenwald is excited to sign her first team member.

“I’m so thrilled to have Kennedy join our team,” she said. “Not only is she a talented dancer, but her showmanship makes her so much fun to watch! You can tell she loves to dance, and I know everyone is going to enjoy her performances.”

The dance team will offer students an extra-curricular sport focused on performance while providing camaraderie and support. The team will entertain SMC spectators while also competing at the national level through spring National Dance Alliance competitions.

“While the primary purpose of the team will be to perform at SMC basketball games and in the community, it is also my goal to build this into a championship-winning team in the world of competitive dance,” Odenwald said.

The dance team will perform at halftime of every home men’s and women’s basketball game and do short sideline routines to the pep band’s music during games.

Dance will be a year-round sport, running August through April. Dancers will also be expected to attend an NDA dance camp every summer as a team. Practices will generally run three times a week for two hours, with more during competition season. Dancers will also be expected to do strength training on their own.

Interested dancers should contact Odenwald at danceteam@swmich.edu and fill out the recruiting form.