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March 16, 2011
SPORTS - HIGH SCHOOL
Kamiak dance team wins 2 1st places at districts
|Kamiak High School senior Jasmine Cabanos, freshman Samantha Muschett and freshman Chloe Gandal kick their legs high during Kamiak Dulcineas’ “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” routine at districts on Saturday. |
|Sara Bruestle photo|
MUKILTEO, Washington (STPNS) -- Kamiak Dulcineas is adding two more first-place dance trophies to its collection.
The Kamiak High School Dance Team won first place and qualified for state in both the kick and dance/show categories at the 2011 District 1 dance and drill competition on March 12.
“It’s overwhelming,” Kamiak dance coach Kathryn Noonan said of the two wins. “I’m so proud of the kids. They earned both of those.”
That the team is going to state is no surprise. Every routine Noonan has coached in her 18 years at Kamiak has qualified for the state competition.
Last year at districts, the team won first place in just the kick category. They won third place in kick at state but did not place in dance.
Five first-place trophies were awarded on Saturday to District 1 teams for top routines in six different categories – military, show, kick, dance, hip-hop and pom. The teams needed to score at or above 210 points to go to state.
“It’s really exciting (to win),” said senior and team captain Annie Marchion. “It was like ‘If our music doesn’t play, I’m going to be pissed, and if it is played, I don’t know how excited I’m going to be!”
Kamiak’s Sarah Messick won first place in the 4A Drill Down.
The state competition is scheduled for March 25-26 at the SunDome in Yakima.
The team’s four team captains choreographed Kamiak’s award-winning kick routine. The routine was set to “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” which was one of the anthems for the World Cup. It has an African rhythm, and a lot of high kicks and advanced turns and leaps.
“We had to find a real high energy song, and then some of the girls were watching the World Cup, and they were just like ‘That’s it! That’s perfect! That’s the song!’” said senior and team captain Megan Watkins.
In the spirit of the song, Kamiak Dulcineas has partnered with Camfed USA, a non-profit that educates girls in Africa, to sell wristbands for $1 each. They’ve raised about $500.
“They were pumped up today, and I love that,” Noonan said of the team. “And I love that they don’t need me to tell them to do a good job.”
The team’s award-winning dance routine was choreographed by former Kamiak dance team captain Rhya Milici. The routine to “My Immortal” is an emotional dance about unrequited love.
“Judges say, ‘This gives me goosebumps,’” Noonan said. “At the end of the routine … half of the girls have their heads down toward the floor and the other half are looking up hopefully.
“What Rhya said is, ‘Those are the two emotions that I feel when I’ve lost love; should I continue to hope or is it over?’ and I think that is what is so poignant. People say, ‘Wow, I see that.’”
Even after winning at districts, the team will continue to change and clean their dance routines, as they have all season. They’ll continue to practice 9-19 hours a week for the next two weeks, dancing both in class and after school.
“For this competition we changed a bunch of parts, so it was kind of stressful, but we got through it and, apparently, it was better than before,” said sophomore Tate Woodard. “And we’ll be changing things [again] to make it look better for state.”
Their win at districts is no guarantee that they’ll win at state, senior Melissa Mullan said.
But with the team’s strong leadership and unity – the dancers are like family – many of them feel they have the support, drive, confidence and focus to do great at state, too.
“I have confidence in our group,” Mullan said. “We have a really, really strong dancing team. I’ve been on it all four years, and this is the strongest one we’ve had so far.”
They hope to win a trophy or two at state, which hasn’t happened for the team since 2005.
“I want to win at state – I want first,” Watkins said. “We are really motivated, we still really like the music, and we still really like the routines. I think we are going to do really good.”
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