Attending the Super Bowl is a once in a lifetime memory in itself. But, how about being part of the Super Bowl halftime show with Justin Timberlake, with tens of millions of people watching you around the world?
That was an opportunity that the Burnsville Blazettes, along with 13 other high school dance teams in the state, received on Sunday during the Super Bowl LII halftime show at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Blazettes learned about the opportunity before winter break when coach Anna Lardy received a phone call explaining the opportunity to them, and the team was asked to audition. They sent in a video to show the talent level of the team, and once they were accepted, they had to sign a confidentiality agreement. If they violated that agreement, they would have been disqualified from the show, so the team had to stay tight-lipped about their performance for two months.
“It was really challenging,” coach Jennifer Waller said. “We just wanted to tell everyone we were so excited, especially in the last week when we got to practice the show with Justin Timberlake.”
First, the dance team had to learn choreography sent to them by Timberlake’s choreography team. Then, there were a series of rehearsals that spanned over the course of two weeks before the game, where they clocked a total of 70 hours of rehearsal time. With this huge time commitment, there was some worry from the coaches about this event taking away practice time for sections.
“I was so excited for the opportunity for the girls, and a little overwhelmed about the time it was taking away from our team getting ready for sections,” said coach Lardy. “But letting the girls have this experience was worth it.”
The dancers all had the experience of a lifetime being a part of the event.
“It was a crazy experience,” said Maddie Pittorf, a Blazette, “and I was happy that I was apart of it.”
Coach Lardy noted that it was incredible to see the behind the scenes of how a production as big as the Super Bowl halftime show gets planned.
“The anticipation and excitement as you wait in the tunnels under the stadium the run onto the field is a pretty cool feeling too.” she said.
The Blazettes were not the only Burnsville High School students to take part in Super Bowl-related events. Two culinary students helped prepare food for the Taste of the NFL event the Saturday before the big game.