Dance team keeps busy with clinics, competition

Ryanne Mercer, Staff Reporter

January is always a busy month. Winter sports are kicking into high gear, and just getting back into the routine from winter break. In particular, the De Soto High School Diamonds dance team has a lot going on. Besides the usual practices and basketball games, they had two competitions and a kid’s clinic scheduled in a three- week span.

On Jan. 13, they had their first competition of the year. That Friday they had girls perform solos and duets at the Miss Kansas Dance Competition. The next morning they woke up early to travel to Olathe South High School. There they performed three team dances. Overall, they did very well and got multiple awards such as a Showmanship Award, Choreography Award, and sophomore Callie Lane got a medal for her solo.

The solo dancers were freshman Sydney Webb and Lane. Freshmen Gabby Stephens and Emily Hess, and sophomores Mackenzie Mathern and Kelsey Plake performed duets. Senior Danielle Dowdy and junior Rhiannon Caldwell also performed an officer’s duet.

On Jan. 20, the Diamonds traveled to Olathe East High School for the annual Kansas Spectacular Regional Dance Competition for their second and final competition of the season. Again, solos and duets were performed on Friday night and Saturday was the day for team dances.

They performed a prop novelty dance for the first time this year. They performed this at both competitions and also at a boys’ varsity basketball game. The theme was Candy Shop.

“We did this to increase difficultly and to compete with bigger schools,” assistant coach Kim Dowdy said.

On Jan. 28, the Diamonds hosted their annual Dancin’ with the Diamonds Kids Clinic at DHS. Last year they had about 25 kids come, and this year they had over 40 kids participate. The performed this dance on Jan. 31 during halftime of the girls’ varsity basketball game.

The Diamonds will next perform a Queen of Winter Sports routine with the cheer and dance team during halftime of the boys’ basketball game on Feb. 10, and also at the QOWS pep assembly.

They will get a couple days rest before coming out again and performing a partner dance on Valentine’s Day.

The last big thing they have this year is their annual Spring Show. In this, they will perform all the dances they have performed this year. This will take place on Feb. 25 at Lexington Trails Middle School.