Lakeridge Junior High wins state

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Junior Pacer Dancers swept the competition at the state championships.The Junior Pacer Dancers triumphed at the state championships this month.

Lakeridge Junior High School’s Elite Eight trounced teams with more than 20 members from dance studios and junior high schools throughout Oregon for the honor to be able to compete at the event, said Brooke Mattern, head coach of the Pacer Dancer Program, which encompasses the high and junior high schools. It was the first time that the school’s new dance team competed at state.

During the April 6 performance at Clackamas Community College, the junior high team danced a contemporary jazz number to “Lights” by Ellie Goulding.

“We would often talk about how they would light up the floor because they had an undefeated season,” Mattern said.

Maggie Dieringer coaches the junior high dance team. Dance team focuses on dance skills and techniques, and they perform at community events and football games in addition to district and state competition showcases.

Dieringer “lives and breathes dance: That’s the place she’s supposed to be,” Mattern said.

The season is June to April and practice is three times per week at Lakeridge High School, 1235 Overlook Drive.

The Junior Laker Dance Team also competed at state last month, landing second place. Three schools, including the Junior Pacers and a team from Portland, vied for first at the state event after a series of qualifying contests during the season.

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