State Fortè Team Dances to Success


Photo Credit: KB

Bryleigh De Jong, Editor

The Pella High School’s Fortè team performed at state and competed in three categories. In class two military, Fortè placed first. In class three novelty, the team placed second, and they placed third in class ten pom.
“We were fortunate enough to be awarded the “Be You” Award for our military routine as a team,” said senior Bailey Knouse. Knouse was also awarded the extinguished academic award.
According to senior Olivia Korns, the team performed better than expected and this gave the team the boost they needed to achieve their goals at state.
“It was great,” said Korns. “I had lots of fun and it was amazing to have a normal state performance again this year.”
The team performed at the Wells Fargo Arena. This is a new experience for freshmen.
“My very first experience at state dance with Fortè was great, and I had so much fun with my team!” said freshman MacKenna Hall. “It was super cool to perform on the Wells Fargo Arena floor, and I am super blessed to be on this team and cannot wait for more memories with them!”
Freshman Sietje Beukelman also thought her first experience at state was amazing.
“It was so fun performing for everyone and getting to hang out with all my teammates,” said Beukelman. “It felt so rewarding, and it was a great first experience.”
Sophomore Tess Hopkins feels that State is an important time for the team to bond and make memories.
“So much of the time we spend together up until this week is working hard and working on our routines so this is a good time for us to chill together and make memories in a different setting,” said Hopkins.
The team does many different activities as a team during State Week and that’s what makes Fortè stand out.
“Everyone’s adrenaline is so high and we are all so excited to perform,” said Hopkins. Hopkins expressed that the entire team was feeling the same emotions and everyone was supporting each other and getting hyped up. “I loved these moments because we truly just felt like one team all reaching for the same goal.”
Even though this was only Hopkins second year at state, there were some pretty big changes from last year. Since it was COVID times during state last year, everything for the team felt uncertain. Fortè constantly worried about following the rules and making sure they were being safe. Their performance times were much closer together than last year to shorten the time each team was in the building.
This year, although things have changed from how they were prior to COVID, things were much more relaxed. The team had more time in between dances and were able to hang out and watch other teams dance. Fortè was able to enjoy the experience this year more than last because that little uncertainty wasn’t there that time.
During the individual performances, seven Fortè members including the team’s manager performed a solo for state. All soloists earned a division 1 superior rating and the manager of Pella Fortè, Ellie Wikus, was also able to perform her solo.
Paige Buckland earned third in class two color guard, and Knouse placed sixth in class eight dance. “I was humbled to receive the ISDTA Senior scholarship as well,” said Knouse.
“I feel like I accomplished a lot personally, but also the team as a whole,” said Hopkins. “It truly is a team effort and we couldn’t have done what we did without everyone giving 115%.”