Photo taken by: Wendy Davis
After three hours of practice everyday for seven months, the Crimson Cadettes were ready to take on their national dance competition. They signed up for nationals at Hawaii very early on in the year in order to secure their spot. The junior Cadettes were surprised when the senior officers told them they were heading to Hawaii. The trip was over spring break, and they brought back their nationals’ rings.
The Cadettes have been preparing for nationals since August staying after school every day to get as much practice as possible.
“We’ve been practicing since October for contest season, but after football season our practices went until 5 every day of the week.” senior Sarah Bruce said.
They competed against four other schools that included schools from Texas as well as other places across the United States.
“There was Tustin High school from Orange County California; they were actually on ‘World of Dance.’ That’s who we beat,” Bruce said. “There was also Lake Travis from Austin, Odessa High School from Odessa, Texas and the fourth was a Hawaiian school.”
Taking the trip to Hawaii was not cheap, it took multiple fundraisers to help pay for the entire trip. Not only that, but they also had to ship their props to Hawaii as well as buy more when they arrived.
“To help pay for the trip, we had contests at school where venders come and other schools come and they pay our school [to compete], so that went towards the trip,” senior Peyton Gullickson said.
They enjoyed many activities before the competition including snorkeling, surfing and hiking as well as eating many different foods.
“We went to a bay, and we snorkeled,” junior Kaitlyn Laird said. “We also hiked Diamond Head and went to Pearl Harbor.”
Although they enjoyed many activities, there was only one goal in mind. Their focus was to win. The Cadettes competed at Nationals last year and got second place, but this year, they were determined to win.
“We performed four [dances] and they were all different types of dances, [including] lyrical, jazz, pom, and novelty,” junior Allison Hinamen said.
One of the most challenging parts of the competition was facing their biggest rival from Texas as well as performing on carpet, which was different than the gym floor that they were used to dancing on. No matter the differences, they overcame them. The most difficult part of it all were nerves.
“We were really nervous, but we competed really well all year, so we went in with a sense of confidence,” Hinamen said. “Before every contest, we have a routine as a team where we sit together in a circle, listen to the music, work through the dance, pray and then we jump up and down to hype ourselves up to help with the nerves.”
When they were announcing the winners, it was between the Cadettes and Tustin High School. Once they heard that Tustin got second overall, a sigh of relief came on them as they realized they won before being called.
“At first they announced the highest scoring routine and we placed second, so we got kind of scared, but then when they announced the second overall team, Tustin was called; we knew we had won.” Bruce said.
No matter what came in their way, they danced their hearts out, and it paid off.
“I felt so relieved that we won,” Laird said. “It felt like all the late-night and early-morning practice since August, hard work, sweat and tears finally paid off.”