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Richmond High School has put together a 12-member dance team this year with Misty Sims as the coach. Though they are relatively new, they are also talented, full of energy and ready to compete.
Sims is excited for the opportunity she has had to work with the cheerleaders, and brings that same drive, passion, enthusiasm and coaching ability to her new role as dance team coach.
So why ask a cheerleader coach to coach a dance team? How do pom poms and high heels mix? The dance team does not do ballroom dance moves. Instead, they are more like a drill team. A background in cheer, gymnastics, dance and eternal optimism is definitely beneficial.
“The main difference between cheer and dance is stunting,” Sims said. “In cheer, you can stunt and tumble, where in dance you do more formation changes with no stunting. Free falls and only limited tumbling can be performed.”
Sims said Richmond has had a dance team for many years. “They stopped it for a while, but it has been back for a long time now. In the past, you couldn’t do both cheerleading and dance team because practices conflicted but since I coach both and run the practices, now they can,” said Sims. “They have competed before, but it was several years ago, so it’s the first for me and my girls.”
The Dance Team has some real talent on it with girls that have extensive backgrounds in cheer and dance. Senior captains Samantha Nolker and Ali Rickart cheered for football and /or basketball. Junior members Collin Dorton, Adrienne Balthrop, Hannah McGaugh and Taylor Vandiver are dancers, football and basketball cheerleaders. Sophomores Caley Blair, Catie Hagedorn, and Paige Mrosak are also dancers and cheerleaders. Sophomore Alyssa Bradley is a dancer, but is not a cheerleader this year. Freshman Chelsea Fares is a dancer and a football and basketball cheerleader. Kaylee Root, also a freshman, is a JV basketball cheerleader.
Sims said there are different categories for the dance teams to compete in, such as jazz, hip hop, pom pom and show. Routines are approximately two minutes, but not over 2 min. 15 seconds. Three places are awarded for each division/category. The two dance scores are added together to determine overall awards.
“We are competing in jazz and pom this year, because you can only do two dances at state,” Sims said. “It’s really hard to place.” Richmond will be classified as a 2A school in dance competition, based on where the school’s basketball team is categorized.
“At state, we will only face 2A schools, but this Saturday, we will go against Platte County, Whitfield, Notre Dame de Sion, Bishop O’Hara, Barstow, Blue Springs South and others,” Sims said. “This is a state-qualifying competition.
The Richmond High School Dance Team will debut their show tonight at 6:30 p.m., during the Meet the Spartans program at the RHS Gym.
This will be good practice for the team because their first competition is the next day at Fort Osage High School. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., dance teams from many schools will vie for the various awards.
The Dance Team’s next performance will be at William Jewell College on Dec. 6. They also have a competition in St. Louis on Feb. 28, 2009.
Sims added, “All of the little girls that participated in the RHS Dance Clinic will perform at the Meet the Spartans night, too. While the girls and boys basketball teams preview their talent with some drills and a scrimmage, the cheerleaders will root them on from the sidelines. Please come and support all of the winter Spartans!”