Dance Team Competes in First State Competition in School’s History


Submitted by Katie Hale

This year the dance team has earned the chance to perform at state competition for the first time in school history.

Katie Hale, Staff Reporter

Head coach Ashley Rickman was excited to take her team to a state competition, although she has served as the dance team coach for GCHS since it opened in 2019.  She wanted to establish the team before taking them to a competition of this level. “I will never regret the way we took the first few years as a new team to create our traditions and establish ourselves as a part of the spirit program at Great Crossing,” Rickman explained.  

However, now that those traditions have been created, Rickman is looking to the future. She said, “It’s important to me that we continue to move forward, and that includes performing more competition routines and attending regionals, state, and possibly even a national level competition in the future.”

I was really excited for state…I knew it’d be a great experience and would be amazing to perform with my team.

— Sara Swanigan, senior

As the competition approached, Rickman was confident that the team would do great no matter the circumstances. She stated “Preparing for state was challenging. We had never attended before so we were unsure of what to expect, but I am so proud of how the dancers persevered through that process.”  

Kenedi Jackson, assistant coach, is also incredibly proud of the team’s accomplishments thus far. Jackson acknowledged that the team had to struggle with both injuries and illnesses leading up to the state competition.  Jackson said, “Since the regional competition, we have had very few full team practices. Dance is a hard sport to practice when you are missing team members.”

GCHS senior and dance team captain Sara Swanigan was excited to take on the competition with her fellow teammates to finish out her high school career. “I was really excited for state…I knew it’d be a great experience and would be amazing to perform with my team.” 

As the competition got closer, the pressure was coming down on Swanigan and her team. She and the rest of the team had to balance dance, work, and school. “The hardest thing about preparing for state is juggling practices and school work at the same time.”

In the future, Jackson feels that nationals will be in the cards for the team, along with taking multiple routines. “Ultimately you want to go to nationals and be competitive. I think for us to be able to do that, we need to prove ourselves at the regional and state levels.” She continued, “Dancers have expressed interest in wanting to do more, so we are going to see what we as coaches can do to make it happen.” 

The GCHS dancers had worked incredibly hard for the opportunity to perform and hoped to bring home the hardware. Out of the twenty teams that made it and competed at the state level, GC took home the eleventh spot in the pom category with a score of 84.25 out of 100.