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DANCE TEAM MEMBERS TRY OUT FOR ALL-STATE TEAM

Seniors Hannah Fallert (left) and Ericka Levandowski (second from right) pose with fellow participants at the Oregon All-State Dance Team tryouts. (Submitted photo).
Seniors Hannah Fallert (left) and Ericka Levandowski (second from right) pose with fellow participants at the Oregon All-State Dance Team tryouts. (Submitted photo).

By Tiffany Eldridge

Special to the Pilot

WOODBURN – Approximately 300 dancers showed up for the annual Oregon All-State Dance Team tryouts Sunday and Monday, Jan, 20 and 21, in Woodburn.

Four-year Brookings-Harbor High School Bear Delights Dance Team members, seniors and captains, Hannah Fallert and Ericka Levandowski, were among the elite.

In order for dancers to qualify for all-state tryouts, they must meet the following criteria:

•They must be a senior in high school;

•They must be a member of an Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) sanctioned dance team and;

•They must be able to compete on a performance level as determined by the Dance Drill Coaches Association (DDCA) Board and OSAA sanctioned judges. Elements of this criteria include: right and left leg splits; right and left double pirouettes (traditional and jazz); right and left chaine turns: right and left kicks; right and left grand jetes; right and left split leaps.

At the tryouts, all dancers reported to a practice session and were taught a two-minute dance routine that included many different choreography styles – jazz, precision, ballet, lyrical, contemporary and hip-hop.

In this practice session, the dancers are not permitted to talk or ask questions; they are expected to listen to the instructors and learn by simply paying attention and practicing the moves as taught.

At the end of the session, dancers are given a check-in time for the following day and are placed in a group of four dancers and assigned a number.

Once finished with the practice session, Fallert, Levandowski and several other participants went directly to the hotel to practice what they just learned.

Beds were propped up against walls and conference rooms were cleared out in order to make room to practice where they rehearsed what they learned until 11:30 p.m.

At the all-state tryouts, dancers are judged on the following: Grooming (10 percent); Splits/Flexibility (10 percent); Kicks (10 percent); Dance (70 percent).

Elements include:technique, height, accuracy, rhythm, style, precision and showmanship.

Participants perform the dance twice for the judge panel and do R & L splits and kicks separate from the dance. They are judged from front and side views.They return for a review to perform one last time and remain available for callbacks at the end of their division tryout session.

Each division selects 10 to 12 dancers for the honor of all-state dancer.

These selections are announced at the OSAA State Dance Championships in March, where the selected all-state team will debut their dance routine.

Tiffany Eldridge is coach of the BHHS dance team.

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