In recent years the RBHS Bruin Girls have seen success in their competitions. In 2017, the team placed second in the Mix and Jazz categories in the National Dance Alliance (NDA) Nationals competition, and in 2018 they placed fourth in Pom, second in Jazz and third in Mix. Last year they won the Mix category at the State competition.
“We’ve got a good amount of experience. The majority of our team are seniors and have been there and competed for four years,” head coach Lyria Bartlett said. “[Our goal] is to win it.”
This year the team will travel to Orlando, Fl. to compete in a national event at Hard Rock Live Orlando from Feb. 20 to 25. Senior Kennedy Grieman has competed in four national competitions, and she said every year the team hopes to bring back a national title.
“We feel that this year in particular we have great potential with all of our routines. We have all worked so hard this year as it is the last time performing at NDA Nationals for half of our team with seven seniors this year,” Grieman said. “We are so excited to compete again and show them what we have to bring. It truly is the best experience.”
The Orlando competition is the fourth and final trip for senior Paityn Alexander as well. Although she still gets nervous, Alexander said performing on stage feels less nerve-racking each year.
“Overall our team has great determination and experience,” Alexander said. “We are all working together to achieve one common goal. We have come so close to winning many times, and so we all work that much harder knowing that in the end the work will be worth it.”
The national competition consists of preliminary rounds; teams who qualify into the final round are the top rankings in those rounds. The Bruin Girls will compete in three categories: Pom, Jazz and Mix.
“We have amazing choreographers that come in from New York and California to choreograph our routines,” Grieman said. “We love seeing their creative outlook and how that plays into the routines each year.”
Not only does the team rely on the right choreographer to succeed, but the girls also rely on their training regimen. The dance team practices five times a week: Sunday and Monday evenings, as well as Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.
To prepare for competition, they work on cleaning up motions and running through the dance, as well as perfecting technical skills.
“Our dances are in a great place right now, and we feel confident in them,” Alexander said. “We will just continue to clean and perfect different small details.”
Before going on to nationals, the team competed in three regional competitions. They occurred Dec. 1, Dec. 15 and Feb. 9. These dance competitions served as practice for the big stage in Florida.
“We continue to work on stamina and cleaning at every practice leading up to nationals to ensure that we all look the same and we keep our energy up throughout the whole routine,” Grieman said. “This team has a strength in our togetherness. We have all danced together for years and have a special bond. We all share the same commitment to each other, and we find success in working together to reach our goals.”
What’s your favorite Buin Girl dance?