Sunnyside High School dance team advances to State

KENNEWICK - The Sunnyside High School dance team, at this past Saturday's District championships held at Southridge High School, qualified to compete at State in four different competitions.

The team made it to State in the pom, dance and hip-hop categories. Six other dancers advanced to the State competition in the drill-down category.

The State competition will be held at the Yakima SunDome on Friday, March 25. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.

Sunnyside High School dance team Coach Melodie Griffin said her team scored 229 points in the dance category at the District championships. Teams needed to score at least 210 points to advance to State. Southridge won the District title with a score of 265.

"We did really well," she said. "The routine is choreographed by Marielle Abbott for her senior project," Griffin said. "I'm very proud of her. This is her first year on the dance team and she made it to State."

In the pom category, Sunnyside scored 226 points. Othello, which tallied 247 points, won top honors. The pom routine Sunnyside performed was choreographed by Griffin and Valerie Diaz.

"We did well, better than we expected," she said.

Griffin explained that three minutes before Sunnyside went on stage she changed an eight-count move to make the routine smoother.

"I thought it would be more effective," she said. "They (the team) made the changes and executed it very well."

Sunnyside's best score at District came in the hip-hop category. But the dance team's 250 points were seven shy of Pasco's and Othello's. Both teams tied for first and shared the District championship in that event.

Griffin said the loss really stung.

"This was a routine we've been doing well in all year," she said. "We had high expectations to take the District championship in this category."

It was a bittersweet moment for the team. They didn't win a District championship, but they still qualified for three team competitions at State, something the SHS dance team has never accomplished before.

At State the expectations are just as high.

"I don't want to jinx anything but our hip-hop routine is pretty amazing," Griffin said. "We can taste the prize. It's within our reach, it's within our goals and it's within our parameters to achieve it."

Six other dancers - Jessica Paxton, Kayla Amaro, Marielle Abbott, Stefani Anciso, Kelley Bridges and Tara Van Corbach - advanced to State in the individual drill-down category.

The Sunnyside High School dance team has never won a State title and the team has 14 days of practice available before the State competition.

"We must dedicate all our efforts into making a flawless routine," she said.

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