Norwegian Dancers' spring tour winds through Grand Canyon

The Stoughton High School Norwegian Dancers recently returned from a trip to Arizona and Nevada, where they performed several shows as part of the annual spring break tour. Here, they toured the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The dancers are, front row from left: Jenna Stokes, Cat Smith, Libby Brown, Brita Moe, Megan Howard, Molly Olstad, Matayla DeBruin, Maggie Osterhaus, Maggie McNulty, Sydney Collins, Paige Heimsoth and Maria Buckles; back row, from left: David Tessier, Evan Herbst, Sullivan Gates, Brandt Spilde, Drew Pasold, Sam Kicera, Alexander Cisewski, Eagan Olson, Jack Sanford, Zerek Zeichert, Matthew Gille and Ryan Waldner.

Whether is was performing for packed houses with crowds lined up out the door, or just for some free custard, the Stoughton High School Norwegian Dancers brought their own flavor of entertainment to the American Southwest last month.

During its annual spring break trip, the group performed in Sun City, Mesa, Old Scottsdale and Payson, Arizona, before ending with performances in Las Vegas and Boulder City, Nevada, Norwegian Dancer director Staci Heimsoth wrote the Hub in an email this week.

The dancers kicked things off for eight different audiences in Arizona, including senior communities and churches. In Old Scottsdale, an entire Scandinavian festival had been arranged, and the group performed in front of a packed house.

While in Arizona, the group hiked at the Mogollon Rim and later enjoyed a bonfire and s’mores. At a Culver’s, the owner agreed to provide free custard in exchange for an impromptu concert, which was promptly given, with tables pushed back and dancers humming the musical background.

After a Jeep tour of the Grand Canyon, the group traveled to Las Vegas and Boulder City, Nevada, for performances at elementary schools and the Sahara West Library in Las Vegas.

The trip was highlighted by meetings with several dancer alumni in Sun City and Mesa who attended performances: Beverly (Johnson) Hawkinson, Vicki (Jacobson) Otto, Kristin Peterson and Sonia (Serstad) Holtan. In Las Vegas, Richard Holtan was in the audience.

The return flight was scheduled to be on the “infamous Boeing 737 Max,” a plane that was grounded during the middle of the trip, leading to the cancellation of their flight. The group had to cut things short one day, taking three different flights to get everyone back home.

Heimsoth thanked the chaperones and the many people who helped make the tour go smoothly, from the Sons of Norway Lodge in Stoughton to so many people (who) generously opened their homes in Sun City, Las Vegas and Boulder City.

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at