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Scappoose dance team takes 6th at state

Team executes a 'near flawless' final routine at OSAA dance championships

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - The Scappoose High School Vision Dance team performs its routine 'Memoirs of a Geisha' during the Oregon School Activities Association Dance and Drill Championships, Friday, March 18. The team placed in the top seven for its division Friday, allowing it to advance to the finals the next day.The Scappoose Vision Dance team earned a sixth-place title in the Oregon School Activities Association state championship Saturday, March 19, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

The team achived a high score on its routine titled “Memoirs of a Geisha,” missing a fifth-place title by 0.22 points in the 4A/3A/2A/1A division.

“We did the best we could. We danced our hearts out. We left everything on the floor,” said senior Haillee Nunn, a team dance captain.

Although narrow margins separated the final scores, with fourth through sixth place differentiated by only 0.67 points, dance team members said they were extremely satisfied with their performance in the final round.

“The coaches said it was a nearly flawless routine, [and] we think we should have placed higher, but it is what it is,” Caitlin Hortert, a senior and one of three captains on the team, said. “But we all danced really hard. Like, the hardest we ever could, and that's really what counts.”

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Senior Emma Agger sings the national anthem during the opening ceremony for Thursday's competition. Agger was the first student from Scappoose to be asked to sing at the dance championships. She also performed Saturday, March 19.Hortert and junior Calysta Didier also finished in the top 10 during a “drill down” on Friday night. Drill downs are competitions where dancers must follow rapid commands indicating specific poses, dance positions or forward marches. Dancers are eliminated one by one from a large field of contestants for mistakes such as missing commands or incorrectly executing a position.

OSAA championships are broken into two days of regular competition, based on school size. The top seven teams from each category, 6A, 5A, and 4A/3A/2A/1A, advance to the championship finals on the third day.

The Scappoose dance team came in fifth out of 13 teams in its division Friday.

The team spent rehearsal time Saturday morning tightening up moves and perfecting its performance.

“We felt great. That was definitely the best we've ever danced our routine,” Nunn said. “When we dance together on the floor, there's an energy and we felt so connected and we did awesome.”

Senior Emma Agger, one of the team's three dance captains, said the year's final competition was an emotional experience for her. She has been on the dance team for four years and has bonded with her coaches and fellow team members.

“I just love the sense of belonging I get from dance team,” Agger said. “You spend so much time with the same people. No matter what's going on in your life, this feels like home and somewhere you belong.”

Agger also sung the national anthem at the start of the Friday and Saturday night events. She said she was honored to perform in Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a place she fondly associates with her time as a dancer.

“I'd never done anything like that before,” Agger said. “It was great to do it in a place that I've been performing in for four years.”

While competition season is over, the dance team is still rehearsing for an end of the year showcase at the Scappoose Middle School in early April.

“The coaches are very proud of the whole team. They danced beautifully," said head coach Pam Didier via text message.