OHS Dance Team Brings Home 6 All-American Awards

Pirouette, jeté and plié aren’t words commonly-used by the average person, but for dancers, these are the words to live by.

These dance terminologies were put into play when Oxford High School’s dance team, The Chargerettes, went to the Universal Dance Association (UDA) camp last week at Mississippi State.

OHS Dance Coach Robyn Lyons chose six dancers—Lily Hemmins, Mary Skyler Trost, Katie Cooke Riley, Mary Cook, Hayden Hubbell and Mary Allyn Eastland—to audition for the All-American honor. The OHS dancers made a clean sweep in the competition, as each nominee was awarded the prestigious medal.

“All-American is an opportunity for dancers, just like our fellow sports, to be selected as an elite group of dancers,” Lyons said.

Seniors, or up to six dancers from different classifications on each team, have the opportunity to audition for placement on All-American. Each dancer must learn an additional routine at camp 36 hours prior to the audition. During the auditions, groups of three perform the routine in front of a panel of judges that includes expert dancers, like the Rebelettes. 

The routine consists of various dance styles and skills, Lyons said. If chosen to be on All-American, dancers have the opportunity to participate in the 2018 UDA New Year’s Day parade in Rome, Italy.

Rising senior Lily Hemmins said the most nerve-wracking part of auditioning for All-American was sitting and watching everyone else perform. 

“You start to think and freak yourself out,” she said. 

Although tensions were high, Hemmins accomplished the routine with ease and was awarded All-American along with her five teammates.

For the past three years, Trost said she hasn’t auditioned for All-American due to the spaces being occupied by seniors. This was her first year to audition.

“I was scared some of [the OHS dancers] wouldn’t get All-American, but we all got it and I am so proud of everybody,” she said.

Lyons said she is proud all six dancers were awarded the honor, and hopes to keep the dance program growing and progressing.

“My wish is that we continue to shine in all aspects of being the OHS dance team, including on the sidelines at [sporting events],” she said.

One of Lyons’s ultimate goals is to bring home a state championship and have the banner wave proudly in the gymnasium.

“I believe we get stronger each year and can’t wait to see what these dancers bring to each new season,” she said.

By Talbert Toole, lifestyles editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at talbert.toole@hottytoddy.com.


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