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“Life is the dance and you are the dancer.” -Eckhart Tolle
By Noelle Hines, Clayton Ridge sophomore
GUTTENBERG – It started in the early hours of a Thursday morning in December. Moves had been rehearsed, make up had been applied and nerves were running high amongst the Clayton Ridge Drill Team as it prepared for the 2014 ISDTA Dance Championships.
Practices had only begun a few months prior in late October for this esteemed competition, where an impressive 23 were narrowed down to 17 girls who would take the floor to represent the CRDT. As the competition got closer, the practices got longer and harder. The girls improved with every 8-count, but so did their competitors.
As competition week arrived, the team started with two-a-day practices and, due to unfortunate weather, what was to be five final practices, got cut to three unexpected short ones. With the new challenge the girls had to improvise, taking to practicing in study halls, during lunch and going over 8-count after 8-count in their heads.
Despite the inconvenience, their hard work payed off.
The girls took the floor for the first time on that Thursday in Wells Fargo Arena in front of an estimated 5,000 people. Sporting school-girl outfits, carrying desks, rulers and pencils the team’s performance went off without a hitch.
The team took the floor for a second time that afternoon in front of what may have been an even bigger crowd. Being fifth in the division out of nine, the team still managed to capture the judges attention with their James Bond theme, black suits with bright lime green backs, and white striped arms.
As soon as it started, it had ended and all they could do was wait.
The awards ceremony took place that night, as soon as the final performance had ended. Several awards were passed out before it came time to announce the winners of Small School Military. This division was the most difficult to compete in for the small schools. Every routine that took the floor was simply amazing and after receiving a Division 1 rating, Clayton Ridge was thrilled to hear its name called out for a tie for third place.
The team also was awarded a Division 1 rating and second-place trophy in Small School Prop, and an excellence in Academics award for their combined GPA. The team came away with very impressive hardware yet again, proving that at Clayton Ridge, excellence is the tradition.
The Clayton Ridge Drill Team is coached by Julie Rastetter and assistant Sharon Keehner. The state team consisted of 17 girls, led by captains Molly Errthum, Katie Fassbinder, Emily Glawe, Lindsey Hawkins and Elly Schroeder. Juniors Hannah Anderegg, Leighton Aulwes, Christine Eulberg, Anna Kahle, Taylor Roehlk and Abby VonHandorf were joined by sophomores are Kelly Hawkins, Noelle Hines, Sydney Hines, Hailey Peterson and Jada Schroeder. The lone freshmen was Calista Harbaugh. Other team members were Blake Freedland, Grace Noack, Kara Winch, Sierra Smith, Nicole Wahls and Taylar Weidner.