The Farmington High School Knightline Dance Team has a tradition of skilled dancers, spirited dancers and a stack of awards. This year is no different. The team is already tallying up several prestigious awards in the first month of school.

The team’s dedication and work ethics began paying off early in the summer during the Universal Dance Associate Camp. While at the four-day camp, staff members at the camp began noticing this team’s potential in several areas.

“During camp, they work on technique, new routines and then they are evaluated on those new routines and a routine they brought with them as well,” said Coach Janna Hagerty. “All the girls got perfect scores on the routines - both teams, junior varsity and varsity.”

In addition to garnishing top scores, both teams performed exceptionally well in their respected category. The junior varsity took first place in their category while the varsity team received a superior ranking in their field.

“We did very well at camp,” Hagerty said. “We were invited to compete at the National Dance Competition in January in Orlando, Florida. We have to raise the money, but it is a big deal that they got invited.”

To help pay for the trip, the team plans on fundraising throughout the year. The dance team plans on holding a regional competition in January, and they plan to sell T-shirts as well.

Besides being offered a chance to compete at the national level, several members of the team also walked away with honors. The senior members of the team were invited to perform in the Christmas Parade at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The accolades continued for the Knightline as three of its members - Katie King, Melissa Miller and Macey Vandiver - were selected All-American Dancers.

“They had to audition for it during camp,” Hagerty said. “Then they were selected to perform at the New Year’s Day Parade in London.”

During the four-day camp, honors kept pouring in for the dance team. In addition to everything else, King and senior Izzy Holloway were both invited to audition for UDA staff positions.

“UDA instructors watch the girls throughout the camp,” Hagerty said. “They still have to audition, but typically, if they are invited for an audition, they are selected.”

In order to be as successful as the Knightline team requires much more work than most people are aware. Each member has to be in just as good of condition as any athlete on any team.

“You have to be committed. If you’re not, you won’t make it,” King said. “It is like a football team. If you don’t have the ability or the desire, the coach is going to bench you and that is exactly how it is.”

The dedication and the desire to be the best begins in the spring of the prior school year when Hagerty holds open auditions for the team. Once the new team has been selected, it is full-speed from then on.

“We begin with auditions in the spring for the following year,” Hagerty said. “Then it's conditioning almost every afternoon and usually one morning practice as well.”

Just like any athlete, the team has to prepare for a vigorous schedule ahead of them. In addition to performing at football games, the team will perform at the Farmington Marching Invitational, all the parades, pep assemblies, boys' and girls' varsity basketball games and several competitions.

“We start practicing right after tryouts,” Hagerty said. “Then they pretty much go year round. These girls are extremely dedicated to the team.”

For their part, the dance team members don’t seem to mind the hard work. In fact, according to Hagerty and many of the dancers, most seem to stay with the program their entire time at high school.

“I wanted to be a part of something,” said senior Alexis Sanders. “Camp is hard, tiring, and sometimes stressful, but it is always fun. On a whole, being a member of the team is definitely worth it.”

King also felt the same way. When asked why she has participate with Knightline since she was in middle school, the team captain was not at a loss for words.

“It is my place where I go to have fun, to exercise and to get rid of stress,” King said. “We have also become like family as well.”

"Family" is a theme repeated by many of the team members and their coach as well. One reason for this could be because of the commitment they all have to program...or maybe it is the amount of time they spend with each other. King believes it is probably a little of both. She cites the team’s open choreography sessions as an example.

“We go to my coach’s mom’s house and just make up dances there.” King said. “It is a comfortable spot that we are familiar with and are all very comfortable there. Now that we have open choreography, anyone can come. It doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or a senior.”

For Hagerty, watching her team compete, work out together and grow as a family is very rewarding to her.

“This is a very good group of girls,” Hagerty said. “They show excellent character wherever they go and are very good representatives for the district. They work very hard and are all committed to being team players. It is really a joy working with them.”

Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and cnb reached at 573-518-3629 or at cvaughn@farmingtonpressonline.com

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