The grand finale at the Saturday state championship event.
The grand finale at the Saturday state championship event.

The OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union Dance and Drill State Championships were held on March 15 and 16.

It was the second year the championships were held at The Pavilion at the Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center in Salem. It provided the stage for 27 teams on Friday and 30 teams on Saturday.

Friday was centered around the 6A teams and categories, while Saturday showcased the 1A/2A/3A/4A/5A teams and Show Category. 

This year’s State Championship marked the second year that a category style format was in effect, where teams could enter up to two routines in different categories, qualification parameters permitting. Due to how final numbers and qualifying scores were tallied, 5A and 1A/2A/3A/4A teams were not separated (as is preferred), but despite the extra-large category line-ups, all teams brought their best work to the floor with outstanding performances and accomplishments.

This year, the competitive categories were Show, Jazz, Hip Hop, Pom, and Traditional. Traditional category represents a blend of modern and/or contemporary styles, and often has a range of unique approaches from the many teams that participate. This year, the Traditional categories had the largest line-up of teams on each day.

Kick was also represented with an exhibition, non-competitive performance by Thurston, the only team to dive into the kick category this year. It is uncertain if the Kick category will remain an option at the State Championships, but a huge shout-out to Thurston for their amazing performance.

The early spring sunshine was a gift this year, as teams could prepare and enjoy the outdoors while transitioning back and forth from the Pavilion to the small staging area in an additional building close by. Packed like sardines in the extra prep area, many teams chose to spend down time outside, stretching, practicing, celebrating, and taking in the springtime sun. Rain, rain, go away, come again another day!

Fans lined up for hours in order to claim the best seats in the house, also benefiting from the beautiful weather. The Pavilion provided a great set-up for showcasing the dozens of routines all these teams have spent so much time working on, with a wide open space for performances and a large seating area for the audience.


Friday was the night for 6A teams to showcase their work. In attendance were 27 teams from the following schools: David Douglas. Aloha, Roosevelt, Sunset, Reynolds, Willamette, Newberg, Lincoln, Oregon City, Barlow, Westview, Mountainside, South Medford, West Linn, Lakeridge, Grant, Tigard, Gresham, Forest Grove, Sprague, Century, Nelson, Clackamas, Sherwood, Tualatin, Sheldon, and Lake Oswego.

Lake Oswego and Sherwood had a strong day with performances that took home two first place trophies in each category they entered. Lake Oswego, the second year in a row they have received first place in two categories at State, landed in the lead with their Pom performance, receiving 90.22 and their Jazz receiving 88.25. Sherwood took home first in the other two categories of the night, with their Traditional receiving 87.89, and their Hip Hop with the highest score of the day at 90.75. 

Show division was combined into one group and showcased on Saturday, so only four categories were represented on Friday. Outstanding performances by all the 6A teams. Here are the top two teams in each category. Full results and all placements can be found on the OSAA Website Dance/Drill results page.

Friday Results (top two teams):

  • Hip Hop (6A): Sherwood (90.75), Lakeridge (88.75)
  • Jazz (6A): Lake Oswego (88.25), Tualatin (84.17)
  • Traditional (6A): Sherwood (87.89), Lakeridge (85.31)
  • Pom (6A): Lake Oswego (90.22), Mountainside (81.19)

Individual dancer accomplishments were also recognized on Friday night. 

As usual, Drill Down is always a fun moment for individual dancers to compete and showcase their unique talent of learning and following a random sequence of complex military commands, where one flinch or wrong turn gets you pulled out of the battle to be the last one standing. 

6A Drill Down winners:

  • 1st Place: Tania McCleeve (Cleveland)
  • 2nd Place: Olivia Carlson (Cleveland)
  • 3rd Place: Leyla Cassity (Sprague)
  • 4th Place: Clara Samick (Lincoln)
  • 5th Place: Bella Layman (Lincoln)
  • 6th Place: Harper Nichols (Cleveland)

Dancers from 6A schools that received their All State recognition with a shiny medal and stellar performance were: Andrea Simpson, Anslee Bennet, Brodie Balzer, Carly Clayton, Ellie Wise, Eloise Hook, Emilie Kilshaw, Hailey Maughan, Hannah Browning, Isabella Hartman, Isabella Lehmann, Jane Grimm, Lauren Vance, Leslie Pliego Herrera, Olivia Black, Olivia Carlson, Riley Eggleson, Syndey Faulkner, Syndey Reid, and Tallie Fusitua

The highest scoring All State participants also earned a Dance/Drill Coaches Association (DDCA) Dance Scholarship when they auditioned in January. The 6A dancers learned about their scholarships on Friday, and the following names were announced: Carlly Clayton (Lakeridge), Hailey Maughan (Sherwood), Brodie Balzer (Sherwood), Tallie Fusitua (Tualatin), Anslee Bennett (Lake Oswego), Ellie Wise (Lake Oswego).

Three DDCA Academic Scholarships were awarded to the 6A applicants. Riley Eggleston and Hailey Maughan from Sherwood, and Chloe Kerns from Tigard. 

Finally, the 6A DDCA Diversity Excellence Scholarship was awarded to Leslie Pliego Herrera (Westview).


Saturday was the day for all 1A/2A/3A/4A/5A teams and the Show Category. In attendance were 30 teams from the following schools: West Albany, Stayton/Cascade, Grant Union, Wilsonville, North Eugene, Estacada, Astoria, Centennial, Milwaukie, Parkrose, Pendleton, Putnam, Thurston/Mohawk, West Linn, Silverton, South Albany, Cleveland, Bend, Gladstone, Grant, Scappoose, Philomath, Marshfield, Clackamas, Sprague, Amity, Lebanon, Valley Catholic, Forest Grove, and Canby.

On Saturday, five categories were in play, with 1A/2A/3A/4A/5A combined for Traditional, Pom, Jazz, and Hip Hop. Show was one division with all 1A/2A/3A/4A/5A/6A participating teams. There are efforts for 1A/2A/3A/4A, 5A, and 6A schools to be placed in separate groups, but this year the numbers didn’t allow for that, so most categories on Friday had a large line-up of teams and were quite competitive.

Valley Catholic, for the second year in a row, took home two first place trophies with their Jazz routine, “Business as Usual,” scoring 85.42, and their Traditional routine, “Insomnia,” receiving 87.69. Parkrose landed with a first place Pom performance, scoring 80.64. The Hip Hop winning performance was from Astoria, receiving 85.33.

Clackamas was the highest scoring team of the night with their Show Category routine “From Within,” receiving 91.00. 

The top two placing teams are listed below in each category. Full results and all placements can be found on the OSAA Website Dance/Drill results page.

Saturday Results (top two teams):

  • Hip Hop (1A/2A/3A/4A/5A): Astoria (85.33), Scappoose (84.39) 
  • Jazz (1A/2A/3A/4A/5A): Valley Catholic (85.42), Lebanon (83.06)
  • Traditional (1A/2A/3A/4A/5A): Valley Catholic (87.69), Canby (83.72)
  • Pom (1A/2A/3A/4A/5A): Parkrose (80.64), Lebanon (77.42)
  • Show: Clackamas (91.00), Canby (87.75)


On Saturday, the drill down competition was divided into a 1A/2A/3A/4A group and a 5A group, with a top 6 in each. Results as follows:

1A/2A/3A/4A Drill Down Winners:

  • 1st Place: Zoe Lucas (Valley Catholic)
  • 2nd Place: Cierra Brown (Scappoose)
  • 3rd Place: Addison Schrotzberger (Scappoose)
  • 4th Place: Deegan Thomas (Pendleton)
  • 5th Place: Reese Leader (Scappoose)
  • 6th Place: Marissa Smith (Pendleton)

5A Drill Down Winners:

  • 1st Place: Onika Hernandez (Wilsonville)
  • 2nd Place: Zoie Fulks (Canby)
  • 3rd Place: Hailey Vinogradoff (Silverton)
  • 4th Place: Ruby Nunley (Parkrose)
  • 5th Place: Patricia Campbell (Canby)
  • 6th Place: Chloe Potter (Rex Putnam)

Recognized for making the 1A/2A/3A/4A All State Team were Jada Utberg, Jadyn McMullen, Kayli Blake, Kleary Brown, and Lillian Bigby. The 5A All State Team included Ava Coleman, Eva Phillips, Gracelyn Chaffee, Hailey Yencopal, Itati Bernal, Katie Dunn, Lily Bennett, Maeby Price, Patricial Campbell, Sarah Childers, and Sarah Ward.

The 1A/2A/3A/4A DDCA Scholarships were awarded to Jhanvi Venkitesh (Valley Catholic) for Diversity Excellence; Lillian Bigby (Astoria) and Kayli Blake (Philomath) for Dance Talent; and Allison Nguyen (Valley Catholic) for Academic Excellence.

The 5A DDCA Scholarship winners were Patricia Campbell (Canby) for Diversity Excellence; Ella McKean (Canby) and Eva Phillips (Lebanon) for Academic Excellence; and Eva Phillips (Lebanon), Hailey Yencopal (South Albany), Katie Dunn (Parkrose) and Gracelyn Chaffee (Canby) for Dance Talent.

As the two full days of competition wrapped up on Saturday night, two excellent and long-time coaches were recognized by the DDCA for Lifetime Achievement. These coaches have been mentors and examples of excellence for many dance students and coaches over the years. Congratulations to Vernita Reyna (Sprague) and Lynne McEachern (Centennial) for all they have done and continue to do for Dance Teams in Oregon.

And that's a wrap for the 2023-2024 Dance Team season! In a couple months it all starts again with spring auditions, summer dance camps, and before we know it, fall daily doubles and dozens of new routines.