Mar 11, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorDressed in black-and-white costumes with painted faces, Lander Valley High Schoolwon the Class 3-A state dance title Wednesday at the Casper Events Center.
The Tigers finished the one-day competition scoring 89.333 points. Lovell placed second at 87.667 points.
"It's a different feeling from anything that I had before," said sophomore dance member Mantana Sannes.
Team members are Susan Cooper, Kenney Thatch, Bree Lawrence, Jordan Hitshew, Lindsay Crane, Artesia Bell, Shae Spriggs, Kitri Cooper, Shylo Lawrence and Kayla Bishop.
LVHS last won the 3-A title two years ago.
"I love the feeling of knowing that we worked so hard for this championship. The hours we put into practicing to perform two and half minutes... we were successful," Sannes said.
Cooper is the captain of the squad, while Hitshew and Sannes are the two co-captains.
"I prefer to have a smaller team because you can have a personal connection with the girls," Sannes said.
Sannes hopes to add a couple of more state titles to her resume before she graduates.
"We are going to push just as hard next year," Sannes said. "We are getting some really good freshmen that can help better our team and make sure that we keep striving for that state title in the following years."
Sannes has a goal of dancing on the college level.
"We all admire college dance teams," Sannes said.
"High school is preparing us for that because we have put in so much work.
Dance is something that we all love to do. It's the life of everyone on our team."
Lander's championship routine is called "Scars."
"It's a different type of dance," Sannes said. "It's a very sharp and hard dance."
The performance lasted just 150 seconds, but "it really drains your energy," Sannes said. "We had to learn through practices to push through that and get over that peak."
Sannes didn't known how the judges would react to the different costumes.
"It was hard for us because when we first had the idea we thought about if the judges were going to like it," Sannes said. "In the end we thought that it was something different that people hadn't seen before."
The dancers take an hour and a half to prepare for the routine.
"It's a lot of work that goes into it," Sannes said. "We just thought the costumes encompassed the music. It brought the music to life."
Nine schools in the Class 3-A field made up the dance competition.
"All of the dance teams in 3-A are very dedicated," Sannes said.
Star Valley placed third in the field at 86.333 points, and Jackson was fourth at 81.00 points.
"Star Valley and Jackson are two teams we have been really competitive with," Sannes said. "It's nice to know in the dance team world that we have rivalries, but at the same time we can go up and congratulate them because we all have danced together for so many years. "
Rounding out the field was Kemmerer (69.00 points), Wheatland (61.00), Lyman (60.00), Powell (55.00) and Douglas (54.667).
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.