Dance Team kicks high into regional competition

Rylyn Wang, Staff writer

Dance Team attended its first West Coast Elite (WCE) and second competition of the season at La Costa High School Saturday, Jan. 28.

Since their season started later than usual, most dance teams attended the previous competition at Esperanza High School. As a result, only around 10 teams competed, allowing the judges to move through the dances more easily. Solo competitions lasted from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Team competitions began at 2 p.m. until the awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m.

“We went down all the way to San Diego, so we worked really hard in order to do well at the competition to make our trip worth it,” dancer freshman Savannah Huang said. “Usually, our competitions are just around here, so when we compete around different schools, it was different to see all the dances. There’s just a lot of talent everywhere, and it’s cool seeing everyone else’s dances.”

Dance Team placed first in its kick, large jazz and large lyrical routines, second in medium contemporary and medium lyrical routines and sixth place for their small contemporary routine. In addition to earning first place, its kick routine also earned the Best Choreography Award, which the judges voted on at the end of the dances. 

“We were trying to focus on our performance aspects because that’s what we were lacking in our scoring,” captain senior Bailey Sok said. “It’s basically the way that you show your emotion when you dance. Obviously, if you just dance with no facial expressions, you’re kind of like a robot. Regardless of like how good your technique is or how clean the routine might be like, the judges won’t like to feel the story you’re trying to tell if you’re not actually emoting and expressing your face.”

Among the four soloists, officer juniors Tiffany Peng and Zoey Tran placed fourth and 12th, respectively. Dance Team plans on improving its performance for the next competition using audio-recorded feedback from judges.  

“I was really nervous but going on the gym floor just felt natural,” Tran said. “It just feels like I’m practicing over and over again. I was more nervous this time because it was a bigger competition. Last time, it was a smaller [competition]. For this one, they place you into categories by grade, but the other one places you into categories by grade and style. I feel like I did better in the first competition though.”

The team dances to the same songs every competition. This year, its songs were “Remember (Acoustic)” by Becky Hill, “champagne problems” by Taylor Swift, “Never Letting Go (feat. Troy Laureta)” by Connor Duermit, “Lay All Your Love On Me” by ABBA, “Falling Up (Piano Acoustic)” by Dean Lewis and “Omigod You Guys” from the musical “Legally Blonde.” Soloists danced to the songs “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” by Alicia Keys, “You’re Not Here” by Cynthia Eriva, “Rome” by Dermot Kennedy and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” by Amy Winehouse. 

“I think [dancing] is [a] nice environment to be in,” Sok said. “You obviously want all your hard work to pay off, but you perform the dance once [and] you don’t get any do overs. It’s pretty stressful, but it’s nice having all the girls around motivating me and it makes me responsible for being on a team.”