Dancers moved gracefully, gliding across the gym floor and leaping into the air, as the Parkrose Elite Dance Team aimed toward their sixth state championship after taking home first place in 2014, second in 2015 and fourth in 2016.
The team was excited to reveal their theme of “Transcendent” to the judges and peers at the 2017 OSAA State Championship, held March 16 to 17 at the Portland Memorial Coliseum.
Senior captains Sophia Nguyen, Linda Cha and Ashley Cha prepared their team’s’ morale by strengthening their mentality and confidence to ensure that they ended their season at the top of the pedestal.
However, the strong start to their season caused the team to enter a plateau state, or “becoming comfortable” after winning first place in past competitions, according to the captains. They took it upon themselves to set up a team meeting to plan a way to revamp their work ethic in order to stay consistent in preparation of state.
“We had to make them realize it’s not over yet, there is still much work to do,” Nguyen said.
Both Nguyen and Cha were awarded All-State Team after the second round on Friday, March 17.
Nguyen was given an additional certificate for placing 6th in Drill Down All-State.
Although it’s not what the team was aiming for, they ended their season at 5th in state which for many on the team was a great success regardless. However, a few dancers believed the decision making was unjust, causing a bit of controversy within the dance community.
Leading up to the competition, there seemed to be one competitor that was constantly mentioned by the dancers: Canby High School. Parkrose freshman and dance team member Rosina Delgado described Canby as persistent in placing at the top of the potem in many of the competitions.
However, a strong season for the Broncos leading up to the state competition gave them hope for their most desired accomplishment: bringing home a first-place trophy and banner for Parkrose.
Sophomore Akimi Bledsoe had a key role in the performance as the dancer leaping around a giant compass at the center of the floor.
“For state, I am expecting a lot of good teams and competitors, but I believe we have a good chance this year with all the practices we’ve had,” Bledsoe said.
“The captains have done a great job motivating us and giving us the mentality of champions,” Bledsoe said.
Even if Parkrose did not place first, the dancers believed they would at least place in the top three.
Unfortunately this was not the case, as Canby High School took the show away and became the state champions, leading Glencoe in second, Grant in third, Clackamas in fourth and Parkrose in fifth place.
While the team continued to prove their skill with constant high ranking positions in various competitions and exhibitions, there seemed to be an underlying chip on their shoulder to prove something. This, however, was not the year for Parkrose to prove their dominance.
Photo By Katie Meighen