The Altus High School won its first state championship and placed its first member on the state’s All-State team during competitions in the last few weeks.
Molly Little performed in a one-day competition between more than 100 girls in the All-State competition in Tulsa last month and became the first girl from Altus High School to be one of the 30 girls picked for the All-State team. Dancers competed for the coveted honor among all high school classifications.
And last week, the entire team of 14 girls won its first state title in the Oklahoma State Dance Team Championships in Oklahoma City.
The team competed against two other teams in the class 5A Varsity Mix Category of dance. In the mix category, dancers must perform a routine in less than 3 minutes that includes pom, jazz, hip-hop and kick, the four main categories of competition. Each of those categories also named state champions along with the mix category.
For those who are more technical, the routine called for six, eight-counts of jazz, two full eight-counts of kick (eight total kicks), six counts of pom and/or six counts of hip-hop. All of the dancers had to perform the minimum designated number of counts and kicks.
Altus Dance Team Coach Candace McMahon said dancers are judged on technique and degree of difficulty of moves within the routine. A first-year coach, McMahon, who has previously coached cheerleaders, gave the credit to the girls who she said are talented dancers who learned and continue to perfect their techniques from local dance studios.
“I was really overwhelmed,” she said about the win. “It’s the best feeling in the world. Totally.”
McMahon said the girls learned the routine from choreographers last summer and have been practicing the routine ever since.
McMahon teaches eighth grade reading at Altus Junior High School.
The team performed its last dress rehearsal between games during Friday night’s girls’ basketball game at the high school.
The Oklahoma State Dance Team Directors’ Association, in its 20th year, was created to promote excellence among dance teams in Oklahoma, according to information provided on it OSDTDA website.