Pantherettes, Golden Girls place in competitions
Published 11:58 am Thursday, March 3, 2016
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
PELHAM— The Pelham High School Pantherettes and Riverchase Middle School Golden Girls dance teams each finished out the season with a series of wins.
At the Alabama Dance Championship, the Pantherettes won third place in the small varsity hip-hop category and fourth in the varsity kick category, the team won second for both categories at the American All Star Southeast Regional Dance/Drill Team Competition.
The Golden Girls also participated at the American All-Star competition, taking second in the junior high jazz division.
Both teams competed at the NDA Hoover City Dance Spirit Championship as well. The Pantherettes finished first in small varsity kick, earning them a state title, and third in medium varsity hip-hop.
In that competition Riverchase Middle School finished second in the jazz division.
“It’s always very rewarding seeing them go out and compete,” said dance coach Katherine Phillips. “Just to (see them) put out their best performance. That’s what I am always looking for.”
Growing up a dancer, Phillips decided to take over the Riverchase program four years ago, and then added the Pelham High School program two years ago. Since then, she said she has seen “tremendous growth.”
Phillips has watched many of the students dance since they were in middle school, so she said it’s been beneficial getting to see them progress all the way into the varsity team.
“I really could not be more proud this year,” Phillips said of her dancers.
Both teams start practicing in July, learning the fundamentals and basics. The Golden Girls learn the pep rally and football routines, and the Pantherettes focus on the fall field shows.
All the girls focus on strength, tricks and cleaning up choreography, Phillips said.
Then in October, it’s all about the competition pieces.
The Pantherettes, led by senior Alex Crow and junior Faith Nolen, focused on two categories for the year: hip-hip and kick. Phillips said this was the team’s first year entering into the hip-hop category.
“It’s really kind of wide open to your interpretation on what song you want to do,” she added.
The team decided to do a video game theme, using original music created by PHS junior Daniel Palacios. Phillips said it was successful as the team never placed below third in hip-hop at its three competitions.
Now that the season is over, Phillips said she is hosting auditions this month, preparing for the next round of dancers.