Friday, January 31, 2014

State Drill 2014

State Drill was on Friday, January 31, 2014.  It is always a day full of stress, fun, relief, but yet sad that another competition year is over, but yet excited to get started on another year.  Sometimes I want to start right then--give me my new team and let me start working!

I felt we had really good chances to go all the way this year.  Our routines were doing well at all of the invitationals and our team was really, really prepared for State!  A lot of other teams were rooting for us to win as well!

Some of the Ellevés on the bus to State!
Lauralyn Kofford, bottom right, was our military choreographer.  She had traveled to Japan and some of the moves she had put in our military routine were from a routine she had seen in Japan. The girl next to her in this pic was who had choreographed some of the moves in our routine.  Lauralyn had the team come and meet her just before the State competition began.
Me, Marci, Markelle joined in this pic.
The routines were looking good.  The competition was going to be tight.  Here are the girls saying individual prayers before they compete in the dance category.

The drill down competition - always something a lot of the Ellevés look forward to.  We practice drill downs in practice, so some of my girls get really good at it.  It got very intense this year and it was down to two Bountiful girls and one Maple Mountain girl - Laney Melton.
Laney ended up wining 1st place overall!
1st place in 4A drill down - Laney Melton
Then the 4A Academic All-State team was announced.  Maple Mountain had two girls in the top ten.  Their combined GPA was a 3.9.
Bryn Starkey and Jamie Topham were both named to the 4A Academic All-State Team.
 Watching the 5A drill down and waiting for the awards!
 Announcement time!  - not sure what we had just won when this pic was taken.  But, we ended up taking 2nd in Military, 2nd in Dance, and 3rd in Character.
 The team was happy, but 1st had been our goal.
 Then they announced the overall winners - 
 Maple Mountain took 2nd overall!  This was the best we have ever done and our school is only five years old!
 We finally won a State trophy from the UHSAA!
 Emily Peery won one of the 4A UDDA Drill Team Scholarships.  This is based on an essay she wrote.  So proud of her and happy for her!
  So much to be happy about - yes, 1st place would have been better, but 2nd in State is great too!
 Also many individual accomplishments to be happy about too - Laney taking 1st in Drill Down!
 Three Ellevés making the All-State Dance Team - Laney Melton, Jamie Topham, and Madeline Froerer
 Two Academic All-State Drill - Jamie Topham & Bryn Starkey.
 These seniors have been with me for three years - Jamie, Laney, Madeline, Brynn, Emily, and Bryn.  I will miss having them on the team!  All of them have been so great to work with!
 2nd in State!
Teamwork does make the dream work!
Afterwards, the MMHS administration always takes the team out to dinner at Brick Oven.  It was a fun/crazy time!  I thought maybe the team would be tired or unhappy that we didn't get 1st.  But, no, they were a little bit hyper and had a great time.
Not sure what was happening here - something about her hair--maybe that she needed to shower and wash it--they all needed to! :)
Happy times - thank you MMHS for a fun dinner!

Well, another competition year was over.   It had been an incredible ride!  I'm so proud of all that this team accomplished!  So much talent on this team.  So much talent in this state!  It will be fun to see what next year brings!  I'm already working on it!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pre-State Dinner Party

The Ellevés held their traditional "Pre-State" dinner party on January 30 at Laney Melton's home. The parents of the month go all out and put together a fun night for the team.
 We start with dinner - we had yummy pasta!
 It was decorated in school colors and our team's favorite print--cheetah!
 Cute decor to go along with our theme - Give it all you've got all the time--teamwork makes the dream work!
 There was a bottle of gold nail polish for each girl by their plate with a cute saying on it.  Something like this - "now that your routines are polished, nail them at State!"
 Coaching staff - Marci, Markelle, and me
 The team's "pet" spider.
 I still am not really sure why?
 Team relaxation and visualization.
 Helping to prepare us for the big day.
 Amber Hall has been our motivational speaker for the past 5 years!
 Best part of the night - receiving their Back 2 Back Region Champ shirts!
 They loved them!
Each girl on the team's door was decorated, even one of the team's biggest fans!

It was a fun night and they are pumped and ready to go for State tomorrow!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Region Drill 2014

Region Drill was on January 23 at Timpview High School.  This year, we had two more schools in our region that had competing drill teams--Spanish Fork and Wasatch.  So, there would be six teams competing instead of only four.  One school would be eliminated and not go on to compete at State.

We started the day with practice, of course, and then had a team breakfast.  The team got a special gift that morning.  You would have thought they had received a million bucks by the way they acted.  They received maroon beanie hats with Ellevés embroidered on them!
 Posing with the new beanies!
Eating in style!

Then we had to go to school--which seems like an eternity, even if they were excused for 4th period!  The moms decorated the bus.  Here's a few pics of the bus:

Something dancers say, which means to really do the dances well!
Our theme!

We arrived at Timpview High School and practiced our routines on the floor and checked our music.  Then is was time for dinner.  Again, the team moms decorated our table and made us feel special!
Then it was time for the competition to begin!  First is the traditional "parade of champions" where each team is introduced and comes out onto the floor together.
MMHS Ellevés

All of our performances went really well and I felt really good about them!  The music was loud, but so was our crowd!  Which is good, but I was worried the girls wouldn't be able to hear their music, but they did and they were so pumped to hear the crowd cheering so loud for them!

Soon it was time for the awards and drill down.  We did great in the drill down too!  We took 4 of the 5 places!

Announcing the winners.

Left to right:  Bryn Starkey was 2nd, Laney Melton was 3rd, Brandi Gessel was 5th, and Emily Kessinger was 1st!
Me, Emily, Markelle and Marci (my assistants)
Hero Award Winner - Brooke Coleman - with me and my assistants
All-Region Drill - Madeline Froerer, Laney Melton, and Jamie Topham

8 out of our 10 seniors were named to the Academic All-Region Team
Madeline Froerer, Bryn Starkey, Laney Melton, Hannah Harvey, Brooke Rawlings, Jamie Topham, Emily Peery, and Brynn Shaw

Well, we ended up taking 1st in Military, 1st in Dance, and 1st in Character--we swept it!  Region Champions for the second year in a row.  Back to back Region Champs!

 These are my 3-year seniors with the Region Trophy
 After celebration with our parents and fans, we headed up to our dressing room to clean up and celebrate some more.  As a tradition, I play "We are the Champions" by Queen.  The team rocked out and we kept dancing and partying to a few more songs.  They even made me and Markelle do toe touch jumps.
 So much fun!
 We partied so long, we were the last ones out of the school!
Me and the team - I love this pic!

 Markelle and the team - she's young enough to pull off wearing the beanie!

 Team pic with our awards - we don't know why we made two long lines!  It didn't make for the best picture, especially with the orange and blue bleachers in the background. 
 My team captain's aunt designed this one for us - much better!

It was a great night and now we had a week to prepare for State!  Region is always a big relief to have finished for me!  State is stressful too, but Region determines your placement at State and you have so much support there and you want to do your best for them too.  It was so great to have all of our hard work pay off so well for us!