By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

The Bear Delights Dance Team captured a fifth place trophy at the OSAA Dance Championships on March 16 and 17 in Portland.

andquot;The girls performed beautifully both rounds,andquot; said Coach Tiffany Eldridge. andquot;They pulled it off and had minimal mistakes.andquot;

With the reclassification of divisions in Oregon this year, the dance team ran into a few minor setbacks at the state competition.

Each division (6A, 5A and 4A) is generally divided into two categories: small school and large school.

Brookings-Harbor falls into the small school category.

But this year, several teams that would have been placed in the 4A small school category failed to qualify for the state competition, leaving the category short of competitors.

andquot;Usually, they need eight teams per division in order to compete,andquot; said Eldridge. andquot;But since at least five teams in our 4A division didn't meet the qualifications, all the 4A teams, small and large, competed in one division.andquot;

Despite facing several larger schools in the competition, the Bear Delights took fifth place overall and were the highest placers among the small school teams.

andquot;Even though we placed fifth, we feel like we won because we're the only small team that placed,andquot; said Eldridge. andquot;It was a tough division and the only teams that beat us are teams we normally don't compete against. It just pushed us that much harder.andquot;

The Bear Delights came in behind Gladstone (fourth), Marist (third), Banks (second) and state champion Stayton.

andquot;I'm just really happy that the judges recognized our originality,andquot; said Eldridge. andquot;Our goal all year has been to stay original and be entertaining, and I think we have done that.andquot;

Eldridge is currently planning to hold tryouts for next year's dance team in May.

She is also preparing to set up a dance camp in Brookings through the Northwest Dance Company in August. More details will be provided in later issues of the Pilot.