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The Good Stuff by Shelley Bennett

The 2021 Drill Team makes the most of a challenging year. Picture provided by Hilary Trevizu

By Shelley Bennett

It’s no secret that I am the proud coach of the Lassen High School Drill Team and this week I’m going to brag on my student athletes. Like many other sports teams, our season was cut short last year and we were determined to come back strong in 2021.

Although there have been a minimum of performance opportunities, we have made the best of it and shine brightly when we can, including at a Farmers Market flash mob led by alumni Jessica Cenotti and opening the show for Dancing for a Brand New Me. My dancers also enjoyed tagging along with Santa Claus at the Holiday with a Hero event.

Our captains, Molly Bettencourt, Julia Bias, and Alice Li set a goal at the beginning of the year to compete in a regional dance competition. United Spirit Association offered several virtual options, and the Dance Winter Series Classic fit into our schedule.

We decided to take a dance choreographed by alumni Kat (Collett) Guess, add some difficulty and tricks, and make it competition-ready. Kat was scheduled to come to practices in November and make the changes to “Mic Drop”. Then school was closed.

Captains Julia, Molly, and Alice remain optimistic about the Grizzliette season. Photo provided by Hilary Trevizu

So we pivoted. The captains taught the dance through online classes and videos. When we were able to meet in person, it was only half of the team at a time so that brought more challenges. As Alice says, “preparing for competition was complicated”.

Through the process, our team rose to the occasion and one night in March, we met to record our performance. Energy filled the air as the team practiced and cleaned the routine under Kat’s watchful eye. Finally, they were ready and took the floor.

Kat and I were both so proud of their presentation. Even with masks on, the personalities of 23 dancers were projected to our humble audience of two. Kat said, “[they] were together and clean…I [am] so impressed—which is not easy to do.”

Alice commented, “the virtual competition was less stressful” although she would have enjoyed traveling with her team. Molly would like you to know, “how extremely hard the team worked to get this dance to competition… I am very proud of my team.”

Ready to open the show at Dancing for a Brand New Me

We sent our video in and waited a few days to hear the results. Unfortunately, our team didn’t place in the competition, but we received valuable and complimentary feedback from the judges. They enjoyed the variety in musical pacing and energy and commented positively on our choice of costume. Alice reflected, “our team is a group of extremely hard working and talented individuals… although we did not place, I believe we did amazing… especially considering our circumstances.”

With sports returning, the Drill Team is preparing for football season and as Molly said, “finishing strong under the Friday night lights.”

We are also planning to have a Grizzliette show in May. Attendance will probably be limited to family members, but we will try to find a way to bring this event to our online audience through YouTube or another streaming platform.

In addition, Julia hopes “to do fun things as a team and… even though Covid shut down lots of things, [we] can still have a fun end of the year.” Yes, we can Julia, I’m going to make sure that happens. 🙂

The Grizzliettes are all smiles after filming their competition routine

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 Publisher/Editor
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