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Ruling the Competition

Sapphires Win Two Grand Champion Titles

Story By: Kiara Reyes, Editor in Chief

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Throughout February, the Sapphires competed in three dance showcases and secured two Grand Champion titles. They also won many other awards in several categories, including solo awards and group awards.

“We’ve never won Grand Champions twice in a row, and I was so proud of my team,” colonel and senior Chloe Bartine said. “It was a really exciting way to end my senior year, especially being colonel. We felt that all of our hard work paid off and it was definitely a bittersweet ending to our contest season.”

At the Champions Dance competition, the Sapphires were also awarded Most Admired, which was voted on by other teams at the event.

“For us, competition is very much about being respectful to other teams,” team member and junior Sarah Zhao said. “We’re not only there to compete against them and try to go for the biggest title, but we’re also there to appreciate what other teams have done because there’s a lot of cool stuff to see.”

Three judges score the performances based on choreography, precision, performance quality, technique, and appearance.

“We did great at our competitions this year and the judges loved our dances,” team member and sophomore Emilee Croy said. “We practiced each dance a lot and had dress rehearsals to fully prepare. We also tried to build up our team confidence because self confidence is an important factor in performing.”

The competitions were all-day events, and the team started their dances early in the morning and continued until late at night.

“There was one competition where we were there for 20 hours, no lie,” Bartine said. “I had four team dances, four officer dances, and two solos, so I had 10 dances to perform throughout the day.”

The team began learning their competition dances in August in addition to learning their football routines.

“The most difficult part of contest season was definitely all of the rehearsals,” Bartine said. “We barely had a free weekend because we were either rehearsing or competing.”

The Sapphires performed dances in several different categories in the competitions.

“We compete in what we call pom, which is something you see in our football routines,” Zhao said. “We have jazz, which is more of our upbeat, hard hitting dances, and contemporary, which is a softer, ballet style dance. Then we have novelty, which is more prop-based and fun.”

After spending long days and practices together competing, the Sapphires have grown closer together and have gotten to know each other better as friends.

“For me, I think that the best part  is getting to dance everyday and getting to experience everything on Sapphires with some of my best friends,” Croy said.

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