Braintree High’s Varsity Dance Team has won another state championship, defeating eight other teams in the most recent state competition.
The team has captured first place in the MSSAA (Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association) Fall State Cheerleading and Dance Championship for five consecutive years, since the competition was sanctioned as a fall state competition in 2008.
“We’re always happy to win, and surprised a bit to win, but we really work hard with that being our end goal…we don’t expect it, but that’s the goal - to go in and come out on top,” said Coach Jamie Campbell.
This year's competition had a new format, which separated cheerleading from dance into different divisions. The competition also has a hip hop division that the Braintree girls do not compete in.
“It was the first time they rolled up the mats, let us compete on the hardwood floor, and let us do our own little thing,” Campbell said.
In this most recent round, which took place at Shrewsbury High School on Nov. 18, Needham High placed second, and Weymouth High in third.
“The level [of dance] is just incredible,” Campbell said. “One judge said we were pretty perfect. And that’s great to see those high scores in the 90s consistent with each other and with very similar remarks. It was a lot of positive feedback and we didn’t get a lot of constructive criticism.”
Other comments focused on the “beautiful kick line,” the variety of the choreography, and even said that the girls were “fun to watch,” a release said.
Additional marks were given for the team’s overall impression, performance, communication, and projection.
Yet that success has not come easy. The girls have had to work diligently to maintain their state title, practicing for two hours a day six days a week, in addition to taking private dance classes.
“Practice will end at 4:30 and they are begging me to stay,” Campbell said. “They don’t miss a beat. They are on the floor working every minute of every practice. It’s a dream team, you can’t ask for much better than that from teenage girls.”
Retaining the title will require the same amount of dedication as the years progress, especially as the competition is getting more advanced every year, Campbell said.
“Schools who are starting to gets teams up and running are getting more competitive. Like Plymouth North is really starting to compete at a higher level,” Campbell said.
Regardless, Campbell says the reason her girls do well is because they enjoy the sport and leave everything on the dance floor.
“When we’re in our huddle, I just tell them to go out there and do what they do best, and that’s when they perform. They let the competition go, the anxiousness, and you can see it in their faces. They genuinely have so much fun doing it,” Campbell said.
The team of 22 dancers is led by senior captains Ashley Boyle, Rae Lynch, Alison Page and Rose Thackeray. Coaches include Campbell and Lindsay Coleman.
The Wamps dance squad also include seniors Emily Helbig, Amanda McCormack and Erin Moriarty; juniors Meg McCarthy, Nicole Coloma, Alex Dean, Gabbi Fiedor and Claudia McHugh; sophomores Emily DiGiusto, Jordan Nashawaty, Danielle Tressler , Jackie Swan and Shae Vartanian; and freshmen Emma DiBona, Julia Mahoney, Molly McQuillan, Molly O’Toole and Hannah Stewart.
Photo courtesy of Patti DiBona