The 2024 all-state dance team.
The 2024 all-state dance team.

On Sunday, after a week-long delay due to snow and ice, the Dance and Drill Coaches Association hosted the Oregon All State Dance Team auditions at Wilsonville High School under the direction of Liisa Stockbridge.

High school dance team seniors, nominated by their coach, were invited to audition for the DDCA all-state team. The audition attendees were divided into three separate groups based on school classification -- 6A. 5A and 4A/3A/2A/1A -- which three all-state teams were selected.  

The all-state routine, an advanced level routine just shy of two minutes, was a mix of Jazz, Hip Hop, and Contemporary dance styles. Choreographed by Steph Morris and assisted by Nikki Baker, the mixed-genre routine allows dancers to showcase versatility and skill level in various forms of dance that are popular in the dance-team arena.   

The audition day was broken up into two phases of learning sessions and auditions. After learning the Jazz portion of the routine from a video earlier this month, dancers came prepared to enter the first round of auditions with a bit of confidence. A brief warm-up and review session of the jazz segment, led quickly into dividing the dancers up into small groups to perform the Jazz to a panel of three judges.

Following the first round of auditions, about half of the dancers were selected to move on to the second round of auditions. The next part of the day included another learning session for the Hip Hop and Contemporary sections of the dance. This learning session is traditionally a bit more stressful, as dancers do not learn the choreography ahead of time.  

After this learning session, dancers are again divided up into small groups to audition the full routine with the same panel of judges. The long day wrapped up with an announcement of the 2024 all-state team.

6A: Andrea Simpson, Anslee Bennet, Brodie Balzer, Carly Clayton, Ellie Wise, Eloise Hook, Emilie Kilshaw, Hailey Maughan, Hannah Browning, Isabella Hartman, Jane Grimm, Lauren Vance, Leslie Pliego Herrera, Olivia Black, Olivia Carlson, Riley Eggleson, Syndey Faulkner, Tallie Fusitua, Isabella Lehmann and Syndey Reid.

5A: Ava Coleman, Eva Phillips, Gracelyn Chaffee, Hailey Yencopal, Itati Bernal, Katie Dunn, Lily Bennett, Maeby Price, Patricial Campbell, Sarah Childers and Sarah Ward.

4A/3A/2A/1A: Jada Utberg, Jadyn McMullen, Kayli Blake, Kleary Brown and Lillian Bigby.

Highest scoring dancers in each group are eligible to win a 2024 DDCA dance scholarship, up to $1,000. The scholarship winners will be announced at the OSAA championships in March. 

The Dance and Drill Coaches Association would like to thank the judges and tabulators who were able to make the event a success, even through all the snow and ice storm adjustments: Marlena Nunley, Kristina Newcomb, Holly Derville-Teer, Savanna Le, Rea Slatter, Baylee White, Ivanna Tucker (tabulator), and Kelsey Menolascina (tabulator).

Although only a handful of dancers make the all-state team, all the dancers should walk away feeling a sense of accomplishment and success in the experience. All-state auditions are always a key moment in a senior dance team dancer’s journey.  

Those who were selected to be on the all-state team will also perform at the OSAA championships.