dance team nationals

Dance Team maintains its streak of success

Sweeping the show | The team celebrates its first place victories for their jazz, kick and lyrical routines at the West Coast Elite nationals competition. “This whole season was a major what-if and to be able to have at least one in person competition was incredible,” junior Hailey Nguyen said. “It felt surreal because we never knew what was going to happen this year and to be finally putting our hard work out on the floor was super rewarding.”

Dance Team scored its 21st first place title in its first in-person competition in over a year, the West Coast Elite nationals competition. This happened during the weekend of March 26 through 28. The team also competed at the Sonora Cal Pac virtual championships Saturday, April 3.

Dance Team returned to school for practices in the beginning of March. Originally, members were only allowed to practice outside on the blacktop, however in the beginning of April, the state of California gave them permission to practice in the dance room. When in the dance room, the girls wear masks and social distance. 

“Entering the dance room as a whole team after more than a year was the best feeling ever. It felt nice to be able to practice in the room again and see the girls in person. Having an in-person competition after not competing for so long felt incredible,” lieutenant junior Rachel Chen said  “We weren’t even sure if we could compete in person this season so we were grateful to have that opportunity. Going on the stage for the first time after a whole year felt exhilarating. I missed the energy of comps and dancing on stage with my team while the crowd cheers. Being able to experience that again after so long was emotional.”

The team competed in three categories: large jazz, kick routine, extra small lyrical and best in jazz. Large jazz is the whole team competing in jazz dance, kick routine is the whole team competing in kick and extra small lyrical is 4-5 people (in this case that was the officer team). In all categories they participated in, they received first place. Normally, the competition is over a span of three days, however, this year each group got a two hour block to perform all their routines. 

“The girls usually have multiple days to perform, but this year they had to do all their routines within two hours,” coach Audrey De Guzman said. “This time constraint was really hard on their stamina, but the girls pulled through. I’m very proud of all of them.” 

At the Sonora Cal Pac virtual championships, it had a clean sweep in large jazz, kick, small lyrical and extra small lyrical. 

“I am really proud of us as a team for getting ready for nationals in only 21 days and coming home with three national titles. We also had a virtual comp a week after and we swept first place in all of our routines,” Chen said. “It was definitely really rewarding to see our hard work pay off.”

By Sofia Majeed, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of Audrey De Guzman