Dance team proud of performance at USA nationals

April 3, 2018 — by Francesca Chu and Emilie Zhou

Last Saturday, the 12 members of the 2017-18 girls’ dance team huddled backstage for the last time as a group. They nervously went over their routine in their heads one last time before going onstage to compete at the USA Dance Nationals in the Anaheim Convention Center in front of hundreds of onlookers.

The team placed third in lyrical, fourth in hip hop, fifth in jazz and ninth in xsmall division. In a competition against more than 20 schools, the dancers were happy with how they placed.

“This was our last time doing these dances, and all we wanted was to walk off the stage feeling like we did our best,” junior captain Alexandra Li said. “I think we all agree that we did that.”

Throughout the season, the team faced challenges due to their coach Kaitlyn Landeza being on maternity leave. The girls found more difficulty at Nationals, where they again had to compete without their coach.

“It was weird to not have her with us at competition,” freshman Isabelle Lee said. “However, we kept her updated the entire time, and we knew she was at home cheering us on.”

Landeza had been gone for more than a month, and the team did not feel fully confident going into Nationals. Yet during the last week before nationals, former dance team officer and 2015 alumni, Madison Seagraves, helped the team clean their dances, which helped them prepare for what USA nationals would be like.

“We know the teams from LA are incredibly talented,” Li said. “We came with the attitude that we were trying to beat our own scores rather than other teams, and our effort paid off.”

At awards, they were especially happy and shocked by their third place finish in lyrical, a routine that was never their strongest during the season.

“When we heard the announcer say ‘Saratoga High School,’ we were all in shock for a few seconds before everyone started cheering,” junior Chloe Peng said.

The team will have their last two performances together at the talent show and the last rally of the year later in the spring. For now, the girls will be taking a short break before auditions for next year are held from April 24-27.


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