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Dance: 2021 DDCA All-State Team named

Pendleton secures five of the 11 spots on the 5A team

May 6, 2021 by Danielle Schneider, OSAAtoday

In February, senior dancers from around the state auditioned for the 2021 Dance Drill Coaches Association (DDCA) All State Team.

The DDCA has sponsored the All-State Team since 2011, prior to that the team was sponsored by the OSAA. Unlike other All-State Teams, only dancers in their senior year of high school are eligible to audition.

Each dancer must be recommended by their coach as meeting core dance skills, must be in good standing with their team/school, and all members of their coaching staff must be a member of the DDCA in order to be eligible to audition.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought significant changes to the All-State process. All candidates learned a routine via video and submitted their audition via video. Each candidate was judged by a panel of three judges.

One-hundred-and-two dancers auditioned for the 2021 team. This represented 51 dancers from 6A schools, 42 from 5A schools, and nine from 4A-1A schools.

Sierra Baker and Isabella Clement were the two dancers selected to the 4A-1A 2021 All State Team.

Notable accomplishments include: Pendleton naming five dancers to the 5A team; and Lake Oswego, Lincoln, and Silverton, each earning three spots on their classification’s team. Being named to the All State Dance Team is one of the highest individual honors a senior team member can achieve and making the team is something dancers aspire for many years before they have the chance to audition. Two members of the Pendleton team share what making the All State Team means to them.

“I am ecstatic to have been honored by becoming a member of the 2021 All-State team, and to do so with 4 of the girls I grew up dancing with was an even bigger excitement,” Pendleton senior and team captain Lily Volger said. "Since the age of four we have been pushing each other to be our very best. If one leaped high the rest of us pushed ourselves to leap higher. Being surrounded by such hard working teammates my whole life has pushed me to become the dancer I am today. We couldn't have done it without each other or without our fearless leader Debbie Kishpaugh. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be recognized, along with so many other members of my Rhythmic Mode family, on the 5A All-State team!"

“It has been an absolute dream of mine, since I started dancing in Pendleton, to be a part of the All State team,” said senior Kirsten Mendel. “And to see it come true alongside some of my favorite people is the icing on the cake. Seeing my hardworking, passionate, and talented teammates and I receive this award was an experience and honor I will never forget. I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished, especially given the circumstances of the year. Our coaches and teammates have uplifted us all and pushed us to be our best selves since the beginning of our time with them, and that never faltered even with the unpredictable events this year brought upon us. The support system Rhythmic Mode has created for us all is outstanding and has certainly contributed to our successes in and out of dance.”

2021 DDCA All-State Dance Team 4A-1A Sierra Baker, Stayton Isabella Clement, Astoria

5A Sophie Borgstahl, Silverton Orianna Farrell, Silverton Elissa Franks, Pendleton Courtney Herraa, Pendleton Alicea Little, Silverton Abigayle McFeteridge, Pendleton Kirsten Mendel, Pendleton Kenzie Miller, Wilsonville Sierra Nelson, West Albany Katie Tracy, South Albany Luly Volger, Pendleton

6A Becki Bachleda, Lake Oswego Grace Corrigan, Tualatin Sofia Dominic, Lincoln Abigail Franklin, Grant Maegan Godfrey, Tualatin Ali Hoevet, Lakeridge Aubrey Jordan, Tigard Maho Kawai, Lincoln Alexa Lester, Mountainside Sophia Lindbloom, Southridge Halston Litch, Lincoln Meghan McMahan, Sheldon Maria Nesheiwat, Lake Oswego Marie Onishi, Lake Oswego Kailen Perry, Westview Emily Shen, Westview

This year’s All State routine was choreographed by Lisa Zaragoza, current dance coach for the University of Oregon Cheer Team and a former Blazer Dancer.

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