March 27, our Morgan Troyettes took flight to sunny California to compete on a national stage against the nation’s best dancers. Nineteen of the 21 Troyettes traveled to show off their talented kicks, turns and splits at a USA competition at the Anaheim convention center.
After submitting videos to earn their placement in the competition, the Troyettes were selected to compete in the elite championship category with their military routine. Fewer teams are selected to compete in this category because only “the best of the best” were chosen.
“We placed seventh, but felt pretty good about the placement because Davis placed first and another local high school placed fifth and they are both 5A division schools,” Drill Team Coach Tammi Neiderhauser explained. At nationals, every school competes against each other. There are no divisions between big or little schools. Each team is judged on their ability against each other.
They also took their dance and character routines to the competition as well. For these routines they were placed in the open category. This meant they were judged against a lot more teams. Even with more competition, the Troyettes held their own, placing 11th in dance and an impressive third in character. One of the best parts of placing high in the character category is that every member of the team performed this routine, giving them all claim on their highest score, the trophy and their medals.
“There’s no beginner, intermediate, advanced, or 3A, 4A, 5A - so if you place - it’s a great accomplishment....especially for a 3A school like ours,” Neiderhauser said. She has been proud of her team and feels they have shown great improvement this year as this is the first year Neiderhauser has taken over coaching.
After the Troyettes shook it up on the dance floor, Southern California shook them up with an earthquake! The team was taking some much deserved free time when things started shaking. They were each enjoying their time off in different ways. One group of girls had been relaxing in the hot tub at their hotel when the quake hit. Instead of seeing a wave of water at the beach like one might expect in Orange County, they saw it at the pool next to them!
Other members of the team had decided to visit the famous mouse at Disneyland. One group was at the Haunted Mansion, where instead of being frightened by ghosts and graveyards, they experienced the tremor in the elevator room. Almost synchronized to the attraction, the quake caused the lights at the end of the scene to stay off a bit longer than usual and then the girls were asked to vacate the park.
Another group had to be told about the quake because they were doing what Troyettes do best: dancing and having fun at the Mad Hatter Tea party. They didn’t realize anything had happened until the evacuation.
The drill coach quickly sent out a text to all of her dancers to see if everyone was O.K. Luckily they all responded that they were fine. Most of them even enjoyed the experience!
The team had a great time together. “The girls had a fun time bonding with each other and really represented Morgan High well,” said Neiderhauser.
Neiderhauser has plans to change things up. “Now that I’ve made it through my first year, I know what to expect and plan to adjust our schedule a little better in the future.”
The drill team holds regular early morning practices as well as a class period for first and second trimesters. This ensures they have spotless performances for football and basketball games, as well as their competitions. That class period ended in February, which made them feel a bit out of practice for nationals at the end of March. The drill team is allowed to attend nationals every other year and Neiderhauser hopes to find a national competition that aligns better with their schedule.
Just as the last competition is over, the Troyettes are preparing for next year’s tryouts. The new Troyette team will be selected from the best dancers from around the county by the end of the week. Neiderhauser points out that most sports last eight to 10 weeks, but drill team is pretty much a year-round sport!
The Troyettes have worked hard and competed well this year. Congratulations to the teams and good luck as you head into next year!