Aspen High School dance team back at state with eyes on another championship
At least in her eyes, Maddy Miller’s Aspen High School dance team gets more and more talented every year. The third-year coach took the Skiers to their first state championship in 2019, and there is belief they’ll find similar success on Saturday.
“I love this group. Every year I keep thinking this is the best team I’ve had and this definitely is the best team,” Miller said. “Their talent level is incredibly high. We’ve pretty much been competing against most of the 5A teams and getting top 10 every time, so that’s pretty impressive. So, I think the sky is the limit for them.”
Aspen will compete at 8:38 a.m. on Saturday inside Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, where it’s hoping to win the Class 3A poms title for the second time in three years. The Skiers came up just short in their repeat bid a year ago, with University taking the championship.
Finals begin around 4 p.m. on Saturday.
“If they go out and do everything they know they can do, there is no reason they shouldn’t be on top,” Miller said. “I’m excited. At the end of the day, no matter what they go out and do, I know they will be proud of it.”
Aspen’s competitive dance season is a quick affair. The Skiers had four competitions in four weeks during November in advance of this week’s CHSAA state championships, which started Thursday. Their performances will go by just as fast, lasting only a couple of minutes, but with the chance of everlasting glory in the form of a state championship going to the victor.
The AHS hype began at the beginning of the season, when Miller and junior Riley MacArthur were asked to represent the sport at CHSAA’s media day at the Denver Broncos’ stadium.
“They feel very prepared. Of course, knowing me and my assistant coach (Gioia Bartalo), we changed the whole dance last week, pretty much,” Miller said. “So this week was really hard on them and it was a lot of moving parts and extra practices and a lot more work than they are used to. But they came together.”
Win or lose on Saturday, the Skiers will still travel to the national championships in early February after a couple of warm-up competitions in January.
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Athletes not actively participating in the event — like sitting on the bench — are asked to stay masked. So, too, are parents and fans in the stands.