Southern Door Dancers Prepare Routine for Citrus Bowl Game


As the #20 ranked Louisiana State University Tigers prepare to take on the #13 ranked Louisville Cardinals at this year’s Citrus Bowl on Dec. 31, two Southern Door dancers are also getting in gear for a once-in-a-lifetime performance at the annual college football matchup.

Seniors Rachel Coulthurst and Heather Buth will be among a couple hundred dancers from across the nation who will perform a pre-game routine before a crowd of approximately 65,000 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

The invitation came just a couple months after Southern Door’s dance team hosted a two-day home camp with choreographers from the Universal Dance Association (UDA). Typically, the Citrus Bowl invitation is reserved for trophy winners from summer camps hosted by the Universal Cheerleaders Association, Universal Dance Association, National Cheerleaders Association or National Dance Alliance. But after seeing Southern Door’s team learn and perform six routines in two days, the choreographers sent a letter to the Universal Dance Association requesting that the team receive a special invite.

“From there, they sent us a letter saying, ‘Hey, you guys get to go!’” Buth said.

“It’s the best dancers,” Coulthurst added. “Typically to go to The Citrus Bowl you have to go to a UDA away camp. Basically you have to win at that camp. Only the best team at that camp gets to go so it’s the best dancers and it’s really exciting.”

With just a few weeks to submit their payment for the trip to Orlando, the school board and administration determined that the team’s two seniors should go. Since then, they have been collecting donations and fundraising (including bagging groceries at Pick ‘n Save) to pay for the trip, which includes a few days of touring and adventure parks before performing.

The invitation is particularly special for Buth, who started the Southern Door High School dance team early in her high school career.

“We didn’t have a dance team before freshman year and I went to our principal and I got the dance team started,” Buth said. “I told him, ‘I want a dance team,’ so we found a coach, we did tryouts, we did a sign-up, we found our uniforms, fundraised – a lot of stuff from the beginning and then we’ve slowly been making it more professional as we go.”

Since then, the team has fluctuated with the sports seasons, boasting up to 15 members during the football and volleyball season and a few less during basketball and wrestling.

“We do pom, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, basically anything,” Coulthurst said.

At the beginning of the month, they received their Citrus Bowl routine and uniforms. Once they arrive in Orlando the last week of December, they will have just one practice with the group before their pre-game performance.

While Coulthurst and Buth differ on their personal post-secondary dance plans, one thing is certain: they are more than ready to represent Southern Door in this showcase of the country’s best young dancers.

“It is a really big deal. I don’t know if we’re ever going to get the opportunity again but certainly these girls aren’t going to get the opportunity again so this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for them and I know they’re very excited,” dance team coach Catrina Foster-Pakalske said. “They’re both really good dancers so I’m sure that they’ll learn a lot through this experience and meet other great dancers from across the nation. It’s a wonderful opportunity and I feel very blessed that they were able to get the opportunity to go.”


To donate to the Southern Door dance team’s trip to the Citrus Bowl, visit or mail donations to: Southern Door Dance Team (Citrus Bowl), 2073 Cty. Rd. DK, Brussels WI 54204.

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