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Montana dance team will perform for veterans at Pearl Harbor - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Montana dance team will perform for veterans at Pearl Harbor

Posted: 12/02/2017 17:48:00 -07:00 Updated:

CHESTER - It’s approximately 3,100 miles from Chester, Montana to Honolulu, Hawaii.

A small group from the Hi-Line is making that voyage, but their trip is about much more than warm weather and sunny beaches.

"It just makes me feel good about myself," Hi-Line Dance Team member Shawna Osburn said. "I dance when I'm sad and happy."

Team member Morgan Anderson explained that dancing is like telling a story but without words -- instead, it's through movement and how a person expresses the feeling.

"It is an escape, it is a release. Dance is just moving to the music," Coach Catalina Carlon said. "Any movement you do isn't a wrong movement, it's a good movement. 

Carlon added that dancing is a way to self-express and many kids do not have an outlet for that. "I like to have that for them so they have an outlet to self-express themselves," she said. 

Hours of choreography, sweat, and hard work have gone into preparations for a trip that's about a lot more than dance. A group of nine young women along with four chaperones from Chester and Havre will show off their moves at Pearl Harbor in honor of veterans.

"This is for the veterans, they're going to see this. This is big,” Team member Eve Overlie explained.

Some of the young women have spent their lives dancing while others just started as recent as a few months ago. Together they’ve created the moves from something meaningful.

"Young people don't get the opportunity to express their gratitude so it was important to me for my kids to be able to do this," Carlon said. 

According to Osburn, she feels happy when she's dancing but she will feel sad for the people in Pearl Harbor.

"Pearl Harbor got bombed and all those people died. We're technically going to be dancing where those people died," she said. "It's going to be amazing, but sad, really emotional at the same time."

The Hi-Line Dance Team will join dancers from all over the world for a total of four performances throughout the week, including in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.  

They will also perform their own number choreographed by Carlon.

"I think the thing I'm looking forward to is the Mr. Red White and Blue performance because it's such a big deal and I really hope I don't mess it up,” Overlie said.

The group left for Hawaii on Sunday.

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