Thompson titled National Champions at the Happiest Place on Earth

Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

ORLANDO, FL – Just months after performing in Jordan-Hare in Auburn at the 7A Football State Championship, the Thompson Warriorettes and the Southern Sounds marching band brought home their own championship title, a National Championship title.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Bennette said. “So much hard work has been put in by these girls and our band to prepare for this. Only a handful of teams get to leave as National Champions, so being one of those is very special.”

Over the weekend of Feb 3-5, Thompson traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida to compete in the UDA National Dance Team Championship at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex. 

For over four decades, the UDA National Dance Team Championship has been the epic conclusion of the season for junior high and high school dance teams across the nation.

“We have been preparing for Nationals since August when we first started learning our routines,” Warriorette head coach Emily Bennette said. “During the fall we perform and compete with the band in the halftime show so we do not get as much practice time for competitions. Once we finish our last band competition at the end of October we really start into dance competition practice. Our practices last for about 2.5 hours each and we also have strength and cardio training every day during our fourth-period class. We also got ready by competing in regional competitions.”

Junior Varsity competed in the junior varsity Jazz category and the JV High Kick category. Varsity competed in the small varsity Jazz category and the small varsity High Kick category The varsity Warriorettes team finished fourth in the nation in the small varsity Kick division.

The team and the band placed first in the nation in the Gameday Live competition. Thompson made history as the first national champion in the new Gameday Live category. 

“The whole team has created such a strong bond together that it has made the whole experience one I will never forget as a coach,” Bennette said. “Not just the dance teams, but with the band as well.”

It wasn’t all work and competition for the members of the Warriorettes and Southern Sounds who traveled to “the Happiest Place on Earth,” the team got to enjoy the famous parks.

“They all had so much fun together as they prepared for competition, competed, and enjoyed the parks for a few days together afterward,” Bennette said. “Being successful in scoring and having good technique is great, but having a team bond where every teammate truly cares for one another is what really matters.” 

Bennette was assisted by junior varsity, Harlie Wilson and the Southern Sounds band directors Graham Bennett and Jamiah Robbins. 

“This team has had that this year and it has made it very special,” Bennette said. “I will always remember this team for not only what they accomplished on the floor but for the love and care they have for each other.”