skip navigation
Hawkettes Dance Team

Mound Westonka Dance Team Wins Conference Championship; Looks Ahead to Sections

By White Hawks News, 02/03/22, 2:00PM CST


The Mound Westonka Hawkettes Dance Team, like so many other teams across all sports, has faced numerous challenges in the past year.

Hawkettes dance team

photo by Mark Hoernemann

Hawkettes dance team

photo by Mark Hoernemann

The Mound Westonka Hawkettes Dance Team, like so many other teams across all sports, has faced numerous challenges in the past year. After an unprecedented but successful season in 2020-21, the Hawkettes have enjoyed a somewhat “normal” season this year. However, even with a return to some amount of normalcy, there have been many challenges along the way.

“From illness to injuries to quarantines, we have found ourselves facing new obstacles almost every week,” said MWDT head coach Molly Carlson. “This team has learned the true meaning of the word resilience. And we choose to focus on all of the positives and all of our successes.”

Throughout the 2021-22 season, the Hawkettes have had success across all levels of their team. In December, the dance team came home with first-place finishes at the Academy of Holy Angels Invitational and the Belle Plaine Invitational. The team also competed at two of the biggest competitions in the state - the Eastview Invitational in December and the Edina Invitational in January. At both of these competitions, the Hawkettes walked away with Top 3 finishes in all of their varsity dances.  

This year the varsity jazz team is performing a powerful, uplifting dance to the song “Unstoppable.” For varsity kick, the team performs an upbeat, hard-hitting dance to Janet Jackson’s "Rhythm Nation." 

“The dancers love their routines this year,” said coach Emily Gibson. “The dances really highlight their strengths, and they are able to perform their hearts out in both routines. We love seeing the joy and passion on their faces as they dance.”

The Wright County Conference competitions have perhaps been the most exciting part of the team’s season. The WCC kick conference meet was held at Mound Westonka in December, and both the Hawkettes varsity and JV teams placed first. At the WCC jazz conference meet held at Holy Family in January, the Hawkettes varsity, JV and B-squad teams placed first. 

The Wright County Conference Championships were held at Glencoe-Silver Lake January 22, and the team had an amazing day. All five of MWDT’s dances placed first, earning them the WCC Kick Championship and WCC Jazz Championship titles, along with the Overall Conference Championship title.

Named to the All-Conference team were seniors Hallie Dierbeck, Lauren Hildahl, Ellerie Anderson and Juliet O’Flanagan; junior Kendall Schissler; and sophomore Sophia Louricas. 

The Hawkettes are led by captains Gabrielle LaFortune, Hallie Dierbeck, Juliet O’Flanagan, Ellerie Anderson and Lauren Hildahl, along with senior dancers Ingrid Aufderheide, Morgan Witte, Clara Hughes, Selamnesh Gough and Paige Nelson.

This past Saturday, January 29, the Hawkettes competed in their final invitational of the season at Delano High School against some of the top teams in the state. They tied for first place in jazz (three-way tie with Totino Grace and Orono), and placed third in kick.  Both JV teams took second place and B-squad jazz won first place.

This weekend, on Saturday, February 5, they compete at the Section 3AA Tournament held at home at Mound Westonka High School, with hopes of advancing to the MSHSL State Tournament in both jazz and kick. The Hawkettes perform at 11:40 a.m. (jazz) and 1:35 p.m. (kick). Doors open to spectators at 10:40 a.m. There will be a livestream available at

Hawkettes dance team

photo by Mark Hoernemann

Hawkettes All-Conference winners

photo by Mark Hoernemann