Battling it out at the beach

Dancers compete on the national stage


Photo courtesy of Molly Kimmey

The Millard West dance team holds up their 2nd place trophy at the National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Florida. The team placed second in both jazz and hip hop routines. “Everyone put out their best performance,” sophomore Molly Kimmey said. “We took in all the considerations from the judges before the final dances and worked on them to make them even better the second time.”

Miguel Paredes Reyes, Sports Director

From Apr. 20 to the 25, the Millard West Dance Team took their talents to the east coast to compete in the National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Florida.

After many months of training, this team felt like they were ready to take on the rest of the country in the most anticipated moment of the season.

“We were very prepared for this year’s competition,” junior Molly Kimmey said. “Going into the weekend we were all really confident in our ability to do well. We had three extra months to prepare for this moment and we weren’t going to mess it up.”

Due to COVID-19, the team wasn’t able to stay in their usual hotel rooms, instead they resided in one house for the whole team in which every team member would have their own room to help prevent any possible spread. Other safety protocols were also put in place like daily temperature and COVID symptom checks, before heading off to do their daily competition activities.

The actual competition was held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports venue. The first day of the two day competition, were semi-finals where judges can look at each team’s routine, give remarks and feedback on how they can improve and score them so that teams can get ready to compete in finals the next day. The Wildcats chose to perform their jazz and hip hop routines.

After receiving their critiques, these ladies worked diligently that night to be prepared for their final performance the next day. They then repeated the same process as the day before with the stakes raised. After the team competed the anticipation and anxiety of waiting for the results came in immediately. They were able to let out a small sigh of relief after finding out they placed in the top three in both dances and were able to be there in person for the awards ceremony while teams that landed outside of the top three watched from their hotel rooms.

“I was so proud of the whole team and how we performed,” junior Emery Golliday said. “Everyone did their best and I’m really happy with the outcome we got. Being there hoping to hear our name get called last, holding hands with all my friends was a great experience.”

They ended up placing in 2nd for both dances, a big improvement from their 5th and 6th placements the year before.

“This team is focused and committed to working hard,” head coach Laura Pickett said. “The dancers do a great job focusing on our program and what we need to accomplish, if they continue to do that going into next year and working even harder each season, I believe they will be very excited on what’s to come.”

After the competition the team was able to unwind and spend the day at the parks before heading home. With tryouts for next season coming up soon, this team is already looking towards next season.