The North County Raiderettes are back in town after a whirlwind trip to Orlando, Florida for the 2019 National Dance Alliance Championships this past week.
The dance team placed fourth in the nation in two categories.
The National Dance Alliance Championships take place each year at Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida. This year 374 routines were performed at the competition by teams from 29 different states. More than 2,000 athletes participated throughout the course of the weekend in various genres of dance.
The teams compete based on team size rather than school size. This put the Raiderettes up against schools that were much larger than North County, as well as performing arts schools and charter schools.
“Just coming from a small town, we’re really proud to rank up there amongst the best of the best,” said Ashley Douglas, the dance team’s head coach.
The team left late Wednesday of last week for the trip. After being delayed by weather in Atlanta for a while, they finally made it to Florida early Thursday where they spent the first day practicing on Universal Studio’s sound stages and in a local dance studio.
The competition started early Friday with preliminary performances for all four routines performed by the Raiderettes.
“Our schedule was pretty stacked once the competition started on Friday,” said Douglas. The team competed in the categories of Large Varsity Team Performance, Large Varsity Pom, Small Varsity Kick, and Small Varsity Jazz.
Once the preliminary performances in those categories were complete, they found out they would advance to finals. Only the top 60 percent of teams made it to finals. The categories they advanced in were Large Varsity Team Performance and Small Varsity Kick.
The team had taken fifth in the Large Varsity Team Performance category the previous two years they’ve competed but never competed in the Small Varsity Kick category before.
“To advance in a category in which we’ve never competed before was a pretty amazing in feat,” Douglas said.
The finals took place the following two days. Saturday was the Large Team Performance finals where the girls finished fourth in the nation with only two points separating the top four teams.
Sunday morning was the finals for Small Varsity Kick. The team entered finals for this category in fifth place but were able jump to fourth after beating out a team that was ahead of them going in.
The team not only placed fourth in the nation in this category, but they were also awarded the NDA Unleashed Award. This is a special award from the judges that is not given out in every category. The award is only as the judges see fit for the most memorable, unique or entertaining performances.
After the competition, the proud team got to relax and enjoy a day at Universal Studios, which Douglas said was well-earned after the hard work they had put in over the course of the previous days.
The Raiderettes Dance team members are Adriana Bosch, Dee Berg, Cassidy Colby, Erin Gantz, Abbey Hammack, Savanna Hosking, Skylar Hultberg, Madison Keller, Jenna Landolt, Riley McFerron, Camryn Pack, Gianna Pettus, Addie Reed, Aubree Scheck, Maddie Skaggs, Taylor Smith, Bonnie Stevens, and Mackenzie Whitwell. They are coached by Douglas and Leslie McClain.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3628, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.