Kicking higher

Texas Highsteppers whisk away the awards at State dance competition


Photo taken by sponsor at competition.

The Texas Highsteppers competed in the Lone Star State Championship in Austin, Texas on Feb. 21. They took three team dances, three officer dances and three ensembles.

The team spent their first nights touring Austin, including the State Capitol and University of Texas.

“I loved getting to tour Austin and hanging out with the team,” freshman Parker Ellyn Madlock said. “It was a great bonding experience. It made us like a family.”

The competition began Saturday morning with the officers’ routines and ensembles. Officers competed with a jazz, “Oh yeah,” novelty, “Pink Panther,” and modern, “Hanging Tree.”

“I think we competed extremely well in all three of our dances,” junior lieutenant Sarah Hickerson said. “Of course there’s always things you see you could have fixed, but we left it all on the floor when we performed. I’m so proud.”

The officers received awards for best overall choreography and best overall precision, the sweepstakes trophy and the Gussie Nell Davis Award of Excellence for receiving scores of 90 or above on all officer routines. They finished 2nd Runner-Up as Officer State Champions in the Large Team Division.

“I’m proud that all of our hard work payed off,” senior captain Laura Rochelle said. “All of the performances were fantastic. I couldn’t be happier to share this experience with all of my favorite girls. It was a great way to end my drill team career.”

The team large ensemble “Dead in the Water” placed fourth in their division. The freshman and sophomore ensemble “Not about Angels” placed third in the medium division, and the senior and junior ensemble “Burnin’ Up” placed first in the medium division as State Champions.

“It was really great getting to see all of our hard work pay off,” senior Sidney Rogers said. “All of those long practices were worth it to get the trophy and the medals.”

The Highsteppers ranked ninth overall at the competition receiving the “Best of Best” Cup. Finishing 2nd Runner-Up Team State Champions in the Large Team Division, they brought home the Sweepstakes Trophy and the Gussie Nell Davis Award of Excellence.

“I think for as much effort and practice we put into the dances it really paid off,” freshman Addison Rogers said. “I was really proud after we placed and got to look back on how well we did in all the videos.”

The team placed first for their team military routine and second for their kick. The Highsteppers were also awarded special awards for best overall technique, best overall precision, and best overall presentation. The Highsteppers also had the second highest team GPA of 3.84 and had 3 solo finalists: Natalie Robinson – 2nd Runner-up, Addison Rogers – 3rd Runner-up, and Sarah Stark – 4th Runner-up.

“Although I’m sad to see my drill team career come to an end, this was an incredible year to go out on,” Rochelle said. “I’m so proud to be a Highstepper.”