After months of preparation and hard work, the West Ranch High School dance team members were crowned national champions in Orlando Sunday.
During the “Contest of Champions” competition held over a three-day period this last weekend at the ESPN Worldwide Sports Complex in Florida, the West Ranch team of 14 dancers performed four different dances for the lyrical, contemporary, jazz and hip hop divisions in the extra-small category and two different dances in the lyrical and contemporary divisions in the small category.
“The number of dances (for us) depends on the size of the team selected for that season,” said West Ranch coach Tammie Johnston.
Johnston said in last year’s national competition the team had come home with two national titles in the extra small and medium contemporary divisions, two division classification championships, and were declared the “Highest Point Champion” winner as well.
“We had so much to be proud of, but Bingham High School won Grand Champs and we dreamed of doing the same one day,” said Johnston.
And this year, after the West Ranch team consisting of four seniors, three juniors, two sophomores, and five freshmen competed against 96 schools across 14 states and more than 400 dances, they came home as the national grand champions.
In addition to the grand championship, the team was named the “Highest Point Champion” and won five national titles, two “Best in Category” titles for lyrical and contemporary, a division classification title and a choreography award.
“Our success at nationals (this year) was a dream come true and will always be a precious memory that we will share with each other, and cherish forever,” said Johnston. “As their coach, I am grateful, humbled and filled with pride to have accomplished so much this season.”