Rellana Van Duren to Join Iowa Central’s Dance Team

Mount Pleasant, IA- The Mount Pleasant High School Dance Team has put together an impressive program, which has yielded some young talent for the collegiate world. Rellana Van Duren is the newest Panther to sign-on to dance at the collegiate level as she will take her talents to Iowa Central.

The senior visited just one school while shopping her college choices and immediately fell in love with that first choice,

“I first went to the ISDTA combine and a lot of colleges there. I definitely was looking at like a lot of options that pretty much every college for dance team in Iowa was there. And Iowa Central really stuck out to me because they just so kind and like they were very enthusiastic, they really like acted like they cared about dance. And I had no idea what Iowa Central was previously before going to that combine, but after that I was like, I gotta go and do a visit there. And I went, the campus was absolutely beautiful and I didn’t do any other college visits after that. I went back and watched a practice like a month or two ago and it was really lovely. And so, I just decided that I was going to go there.”

Van Duren talked about how her aspirations to dance at the collegiate level was prevalent, but not something she even considered before high school,

“Yeah, I’ve always wanted to dance at that level, like, ever since I started dance team at the high school. I didn’t even know that you could dance in college up until then, but yeah.”

Van Duren credited the Mount Pleasant Dance Team and the multiple coaches that helped along the way to her growth on the stage. The program’s success helped facilitate one of her favorite memories of dancing for the Panthers,

“My favorite memory is just honestly going to state. State is like an amazing experience going there and seeing all of the colleges and getting really inspired by just seeing how amazing some of the dances are. And it’s just really inspiring.”

The Panthers improved from their 8th place performance in Pom and 7th place performance in Jazz in 2023 to 6th in Pom and Jazz in 2024. Van Duren will join another successful program as the Iowa Central Dance Team captured their 11th consecutive state championship in pom last December.

Additionally, the Triton Dancers finished as the runner-up in the Junior College Pom Division back on April 13th. After her two years at Iowa Central, Van Duren will make the decision on whether she will continue her dance career,

“I haven’t decided yet. I want to see how those two years treat me, and maybe I’ll be done with dance. Who knows, but I definitely want to try out, maybe later on.”

Van Duren will be studying Psychology as she looks into a possible career in Psychiatry.