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Dancz Catz win state championship, head to nationals

Makenna Mays, Staff Writer

A very proud Dancz Catz coach Erin Bath summed up the ladies' season in one word—outstanding.

On Saturday, March 9, the Dancz Catz was awarded the Indiana State Grand Champion in the senior division for the members performances in Pom, Kick, Open and Hip-Hop. They also won two judges awards with Best Showmanship for their open routine and Best Show for their hip-hop routine.

This is unprecedented for Franklin County as the Dancz Catz team has never won the grand champion award and walked away with all first-place trophies.

“This is the first time that we have ever won the senior grand champion award which is out of all the senior routines,” said Bath.

However, this award did not come easy as the ladies put in a significant amount of effort throughout the season. They began learning their Pom and Kick routines in January; the Open routine they had learned and were performing at football and basketball games and the Hip-Hop routine was performed at football games, but was modified for competition by coaches Bath and Alex Kirkendall.

These routines are learned on top of what they learn for the basketball season. Typically, the team practices twice a week ranging from two to three hours. Bath said this also depends on how the previous practice went and how much they need to get accomplished. For instance, if there was a game the team was getting ready for on top of competition, they might have an additional practice.

The Dancz Catz first competition was on Feb. 3. They have competed in six total competitions (seven including nationals) and placed either first or second in every competition.

Bath said she has been able to see a lot of growth in her team as the season has progressed. When they first start out during football season, it's a new team and everyone was learning at different paces.

“By the time we got around to competition season, they all had reached the same amount of speed that it took to learn these routines,” said Bath.

Bath said the team is excelling at their double turns, learning new hip-hop tricks and moves and styles they haven't done before.

She explained the time leading up to the state championship as a little nerve-wracking for the team.

“They were really wanting to win that grand champion, but they knew no matter what they had a terrific season, and they were just going to go out there and perform like they always do and have fun.”

The Dancz Catz competed against five other teams who were at their level. To be eligible to compete for the grand champion award, the teams had to perform at least three different routines. After the teams perform, the judges take the average of the top three scores.

Bath described the moment they announced the winner as overwhelming. All of the other awards had been announced and the team was just waiting to see who had won grand champion,

“You hear 'amen', they were on the ground praying before that award was announced,” said Bath.

The team is now getting ready for nationals which take place on April 6 and 7. All four routines will be performed, and the team will be judged on those and if their scores are good enough, they could be invited back to perform as best of the best.