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Getting to Know: Bella Bauer and Lilly Weiss

Bella Bauer and Lilly Weiss took first place for their duet in the senior division at McCutcheon High School for the Indiana High School Dance Team Association (IHSDTA) solo/ensemble state in February of 2023.

What were your expectations going into state?

Lilly: Although we had been undefeated all season, we still had to go into state not expecting anything as we had so many duets that we hadn’t completed against yet and we had no idea what they would look like.

Bella: No expectations except to go out on that floor and do our best. I like to think of beating myself each competition and progressively getting better each run.

Were there any obstacles when preparing for state that you had to overcome? 

Lilly: I personally thought this year’s duet had gone well, we never had to make any major changes to the dance and luckily didn’t have any huge obstacles to overcome.

Bella: I remember battling a rough cold that weekend but other than that nothing I can think of.

What motivated you to work hard enough throughout the season to have made that happen?

Lilly: At many competitions, our biggest competitors had been very close to us in score, I think that was our main motivation throughout the season, and also just trying to do our personal best for each other each time we performed.

Bella: I think going into the season and being undefeated was something really cool and that we hadn’t experienced before so striving to keep that streak was something we liked to challenge ourselves with.

What goals have you set for yourself for this upcoming season?

Lilly: I know every year can be different, so one of my goals is to just enjoy dancing with Bella for one more year as our last senior duet and to try to constantly improve at each competition.

Bella: To go out on the floor and do my very best but to tell a story and make the audience feel something. That’s what’s so special about dance compared to any other competitive sport.

Do you plan to be back-to-back state champs since it’s your senior season, what are your plans to accomplish that?

Lilly: I don’t necessarily plan on that, but it is our goal and we will try to do what we did last year, to stay focused on our goal and to work hard with each other.

Bella: It would be an absolute dream to achieve that again but definitely working our hardest no matter what the outcome may be.

What kind of mindset will you have this upcoming season with being state champs?

Lilly: We will have the mindset that we will work as hard as we can, but anything can happen at each competition.

Bella: I think to have confidence when going out and taking the floor but also being humble and working hard for what we want to accomplish.

What did it look like for you as a duet transitioning to take the state floor (Aside from the typical routine is there anything different that you did?)

Lilly: Honestly it didn’t feel any different than another competition besides knowing the fact that it was the last time we would be doing this dance for an IHSDTA competition.

Bella: I would say taking that day listening to comments and communicating with each other on any parts of the routine that we wanted to make sure we perfected. Taking some downtime to ourselves as well, as state day can be very overwhelming and tiring.

How do you feel about the competition this upcoming year?

Lilly: I am excited for this upcoming year, I don’t know what it will bring but I hope we both enjoy our last year doing a duet together.

Bella: Just very excited and wanting to go out on the floor and be even stronger than we were last year.

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