Spirit Squads compete at Baldwin High School

Ryanne Mercer, News Editor

Starting at the beginning of the summer, the dance team prepares for the upcoming year. They learn dances all year round, performing them at games, pep assemblies and competitions.

On Jan. 16 – 17 the De Soto High School Diamonds dance team competed at Miss Kansas, a dance competition at Olathe South High School.

On Friday night, five dancers competed in the solo competition. All five soloists were upperclassmen. Seniors Emily Hess, Gabby Stephens and Sydney Webb and juniors Kelsey Mills and Christa Stenzel all competed. Mills did well enough to receive a solo award. While she was the only one that received an award, Webb was the only one to completely choreograph her solo by herself. The three seniors all agreed that they wish that had not waited until their senior year to first perform a solo.

“I was really nervous backstage, but as soon as it was over, I just wanted to do it again,” Hess said.

The next day the Diamonds performed three team dances: mix, contemporary and jazz. Also a Saturday, there was a trio dance which consisted of Stenzel, Mills and sophomore Kelsey Vila. In addition to those dances, the officers, Mills and Stephens performed an officer’s duet.

Usually, the dances receive a rating of one, two or three. However, at this competition, there were no ratings, just specialized awards. The Diamonds were awarded a Shining Stars Award for scoring above a 240 on all three dances, the polish and precision award for their jazz routine, technique for contemporary and  showmanship and energy for mix.

“The girls did really well. We were really proud of their performances and thought that was by far the best that we had seen any of them,” head coach McKenzi Crow said.

For the next competition, the team agreed there were a few things it could improve on. In fact, once it got back to practice after Miss Kansas, Crow decided to change a couple parts of the dances to make the next competition more successful and make the dances look cleaner.

The next competition was on Feb. 14 at Baldwin High School.

The cheerleaders also competed at the Baldwin Cheer and Dance festival.

While the cheer team has not been perfecting their routine as long as the dancers, it is confident that the adrenaline will kick in, along with the muscle memory of running through it so many times that the team    can give a good performance.

In addition to the team routine, there are different categories that the cheerleaders can compete in. These include: stunt group, all around cheerleader, tumbling and jumps.

“We have only been running through the routine for a month, so I’m really proud of how well the girls have worked and achieved so much in a little amount of time,” junior Rachel Moore said.