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Sapphires Place at Nationals

The Sapphires are working hard as this year's competition season approaches.

The+varsity+Sapphires+team+performed+during+the+Blue+Jay+Nation+Kick-Off+in+the+fieldhouse.+Photo+by+Chrystian+Noble
The varsity Sapphires team performed during the Blue Jay Nation Kick-Off in the fieldhouse. Photo by Chrystian Noble

The varsity Sapphires team performed during the Blue Jay Nation Kick-Off in the fieldhouse. Photo by Chrystian Noble

The varsity Sapphires team performed during the Blue Jay Nation Kick-Off in the fieldhouse. Photo by Chrystian Noble

Liz Gammon

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Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 — Hard work paid off in the long run for the Sapphires dance team. Over this past weekend, the ladies competed in the national competition in Orlando, Florida, placing fifth in their small varsity pom performance and 13th in their jazz performance. Fifth place is the highest place the Sapphires have ever received at the national competition.

Sophomore Kate Marshall returned from the Orlando trip on Tuesday. This was her first year to go to the big competition. “I was nervous, but at the same time excited,” she said. “We weren’t as nervous performing in front of this audience because we didn’t know anyone personally, and that helped. Our goal for pom was to reach top five, and we did that.”

“We felt really proud of ourselves because we reached our goal,” Marshall said. “We put in so much hard work.

The Sapphires were drilling different tricks and turns during each practice to make sure they were perfect.

“We try to choose the toughest competitions to prepare us for nationals so we can do the best we can,” senior Annie Pottios said.

Most recently, they competed at the KC Classic against 48 other teams and regionals at Lee’s Summit North High School. These two competitions laid the ground work for Orlando.

“We had solid practices where our coaches said they really see our dances coming together, which helped our confidence,” Pottios said.

Though these ladies were anxious to see their hard work pay off, they were also excited for the experience and to see other teams flaunt their hard work.

“The reason the competitions are so special, to me at least, is because they’re so big and there are so many teams,” junior Brynn Baymiller said. “It’s a lot different than other sports. In other sports the opposing teams kind of hate each other but dance is a lot more supportive in my experience. We’ll go and watch other teams and cheer them on. We’re competitive in the sense that we want to do good but were not overly competitive against other people.”

Nationals is a huge focus for the varsity Sapphires. Last year they came in eighth place and this year their goal was to make it into the top five.

“Each dancer had a goal to individually improve from the practice the day before,” coach Maggie Willis said. “They worked hard each and every day and we are very proud of their strong work ethic and drive.”

 

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Sapphires Place at Nationals