Dance team moves up from fourth the last two years to second, misses winning the state title by 1.8 points

by: Kris Capp for the CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The Crook County Sparkles dance team placed second at the 2008 OSAA Dance adn Drill State Championships held at Memorial Coliseum in Portland this past weekend.  Coach Rachel Searcy noted that the team came through with the best performance of any team since she has been coaching the dance team.

The Crook County Sparkles rose to the occasion over the weekend, placing higher than any team in school history at the state dance and drill tournament, finishing second in the 5A small division.
   "They went above and beyond," said dance coach Rachel Searcy. "It went very well. It's probably the best I've ever seen any of my teams dance. It was more than I could have ever asked for."
   The Sparkles finished with 77.8 points to first place Churchill's 79.6 points. Rounding out the top five spots were Lebanon, Sherwood, and Silverton.
   "Churchill has placed third the last two years and we've placed fourth," said Searcy. "If we had to take second seat I'm very glad that it's to Churchill. They are very deserving and they did an excellent job."
   Searcy noted that the difference between the Sparkles performance and that of Churchill was that Churchill had more jam-packed choreography and did a better job of projection.
   "My girls stepped up a ton in this area, but Churchill was just very consistent with their projection which is their facial expressions and the emotion of the routine," said Searcy.
   Dance is judged based on content or choreography, execution or performance level and presentation. Searcy choreographed the Sparkles performance with help from members of the team and assistant coach Chayla Waetjen.
   The team danced an Eastern Indian themed performance for the state tournament.
   "You know I think it is time for us to make a change," said Searcy. "This is the third region that we have done. First we did an Asian theme, then we did an African theme and now we did an Eastern Indian theme so I would kind of like to come up with something that is completely different to surprise everyone."
   Not only did the Sparkles perform well on the floor, but they did well in the classroom as well. The team finished fourth in 5A in the Dairy Farmers of Oregon academic all-state dance and drill teams and fifth out of school in all classifications with a 3.61 GPA.
   Individually senior Taylor Scofield was chosen as a member of the 2008 all-state team, making her only the second dancer from Crook County to receive that honor. In January seniors from both the 5A and 6A divisions had three hours to learn a dance and then perform it the following day with the top dancers out of both divisions selected for the all-state team. Scofield was one of only 23 dancers chosen for the honor.
   "They did excellent," said Searcy. "This is the best parent support that I've ever had in eight years and I am just very thankful for them and their wonderful kids. Just a big thank you from myself to all the parents. I want to thank the community, High Desert Dance Arts. And thanks to Ray's Food Place, Ericksons and Les Schwab Tires. They donated food items or paper plates and that sort of thing for the carnival that we had."
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