MCHS dance team wins a national title

By GEOFF STOUTE

gstoute@daily-review.com

The Morgan City Lady Tigers won a national championship in the high kick division at the American All-Stars National Championships at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in February while also placing in several other competitions.

Morgan City’s high kick championship came among schools in Division 1, which includes anyone with 15 members or below, as well as Division 2, those with 16 or more members. Morgan City’s squad had 14 members.

Morgan City Fancy Dancers’ sponsor Courtney Price Matherne said that while the high kick was a smaller competition, it still is a big one in terms of prominence in winning a national champion.

“It’s nice to have my girls see that hard work does pay off with some sort of award,” Matherne said.

Matherne said this year’s squad worked harder than some of her past squads.

She said that teams from various states as well as Mexico attended the event.

“There were quite a few from Louisiana,” she said, adding that American All-Star is based in Louisiana.

Matherne noted that high-kick is a challenging and “exhausting” routine.

“To watch them perform it at Orlando, it was just beautiful,” Matherne said of the routine, which lasted 2½ minutes and included, among the team members combined, at least 50 kicks above the waist.

By winning the National Championship in high kick, it also meant the squad won the Division 1 title in the event.

Morgan City also recorded a third-place finish in Division 1 pompom, a third-place finish in high school officer division and a fourth-place finish in hip hop.

The Morgan City dancers in the high school officer division included Carley Gowan, Brittany Landry, Destiny Scully and Taylor Blanco.

Matherne noted her squad had to compete against schools whose team members have had private lessons since an early age, while her students, except for some lessons maybe when they were younger, mainly learn when they get to high school.

Matherne said she had a good group of seniors on this year’s squad.

“To watch them lead their team through positive encouragement and work ethic was just a positive moment for me, to see them after four years of work get to that level,” she said.

The squad’s seniors included Blanco (squad leader), Landry (co-captain), Gowan (captain), Scully (squad leader), Patricia Williams and Maggie Landry.

“They’re going to be hard to replace, not just on the dance level on but on the leadership level, but I think the junior class is ready to step up, so I’m excited to see what they can do,” Matherne said.

Juniors on this year’s squad included Nicole Perri, Deja Brown and Courtney Reynaud, while sophomores were Erinique Wilson, Jamie Scioneaux and OzZaney Jones.

Freshmen were Ta’Nyre and Cassie Giroir.

All of the underclassmen will be returning with the addition of six newcomers to next year’s squad, Matherne said.

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