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The Good Stuff by Shelley Bennett

Backstage at the show

by Shelley Bennett

Today I am struggling to find the words and write a glowing review of last week’s Grizzliette Show. Heck, I haven’t even been able to find the words to write a Facebook post!

For our Drill Team page, I settled on something about incredible performances, talented dancers, and a team that feels like family.

Instagram got a lyric-like caption about remembering that night because of the people you spent it with.

The struggle doesn’t come from the fact that is wasn’t less than amazing. The struggle comes from once I put the words down on paper (or screen), it becomes something in the past. A box checked off my “To Do” list. A realization that this was my last Grizzliette show with my daughter Sofia.

Sofia was born to be my Drill Team buddy.

At three weeks old, she was lugged to practices and games in her car seat. She attended her first competition at 6 weeks old and even went to camp at Sac State when she was 7 months old.

When she was old enough, she helped hand out flowers with the awards and stood by my side as I started the music. Sof grew up lots of adoring fans, the teenage girls who would “oooh and awe” over her cute outfits and dance moves, who fed her and held her, and pushed her around in the stroller.

So, as I introduced dances and cued up the music on Friday night, this was the film that was playing in my head. The loop of my curly-haired girl with a crooked smile turning into this talented young woman who performs with her whole heart and face.

I had to swallow back the tears several times.

Sofia is awarded Most Dedicated

It was an amazing show. There were sequins and high kicks and precise arm patterns. There were intense facials and hard-hitting moves and fun tricks that added visual appeal. And there was a celebration of all of the Grizzliettes for their hard work and dedication to their team and school.

They are loved and appreciated.

One of the most most anticipated moments of the show was the Class Routines. We have a little competition going so there is incentive to pull out all stops and this year every group did.

The Frosh trio of Grace Steward, Parker Foreman, and Addy McClure danced as the Power Puff girls. They were a blur of pink, blue, and green as they twirled and twinkled their way around the stage.

Our Sophomores showcased a Toy Story theme with every member (Kaylee Micone, Hailey Sandoval, Amelie Gosal, Bailee Avilla, Brianna Williams, and Alyssa Nez) as one of the iconic characters from the beloved Pixar movie. Christopher Mallery made a guest appearance as “Ken” and the group had a rootin’, tootin’ good time until Andy came home.

Kylee Tancreto, Allie Chandler, Madi Boyer, and Cori Nystrom were the Ghostbusters to Julienne Bennett’s Slimer. Starting with the familiar theme song, they hooked the audience before settling in the groove with some low-key hip hop.

Last year’s champions, the seniors, chose a Rio-themed performance with feathery costumes and tropical music that highlighted parts of the film. Sofia Bennett, Renee Delgado, Camber Olexiewicz, Mary Weekley, and Aubrey Yerington fluttered and flew across the gym floor with smiles on their faces.

The results were close (just points separated all four classes) but the Juniors emerged as winners with their tribute to an 80s classic.

Recognition and certificates were given to: Most Improved: Hailey Sandoval, Best New Member: Parker Foreman, Military Master: Kylee Tancreto, Hip Hop Queen: Kaylee Micone, Most Athletic Dancer: Mary Weekley, Highest Kicks: Allie Chandler, Most Inspirational: Julienne Bennett, Most Dedicated: Sofia Bennett, Game Day Sparkle: Camber Olexiewicz, Coach’s Award: Aubrey Yerington, and Most Valuable Dancer: Renee Delgado.

I love this team. In 20 years, they might not remember the routines, a specific 8-count, or even this night, but I hope they always remember the friendships they had and the memories they made.

Thank you to J&J Performing Arts for providing much welcome breaks for the Grizzliettes with performances from the Junior and Petite Competitive Teams!

My seniors

Remember when news was ‘newsy’? When you read about weddings, family events and engagement announcements in the newspaper? If you have something that might be newsworthy, please submit it to [email protected] and I’ll do my best to include it here in “The Good Stuff.”

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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