Teams from all over the United States competed along with teams from Venezuela, Ecuador and England. The CMS Dance Raiderettes proudly brought home first place in junior high jazz, first place in junior high hip hop, and first place in junior high pom. They received the second highest jazz score overall in the entire competition. Judges describe their jazz routine as having “great energy,” “great synchronization,” and as being “very powerful!”
The Cleveland Middle School dancers were described by the judges in their pom routine as “having great team kicks,” “great visuals with use of levels,” being “very entertaining,” and being energetic!"
Finally, the hip hop routine really caught the judges eye at the Wide World of Sports Arena. The talented Cleveland Middle School Raiderettes were described as “having great tricks,” “super cute choreography,” and “nice partner work.” One judge in particular wrote, “This is amazing talent for middle school. The sky is the limit for this team! Amazing job!”
The team scored so high in the competition that they earned a bid to compete at the biggest end of the season event in the industry, the U.S. Finals.
Coach Owens stated, “When I read these remarks from the judges it made all of those hours of practice, all those hours of reworking and redoing, all of the tired moments, worth every minute of it! I tell the girls in practice often, ‘I promise it will be worth it.’ Then when we are in Disney World with our trophies, our banners, our medals and in the victory parade, they know it is true.”
Continued Owens, “Disney is the happiest place on earth, and we accomplished our ultimate goal. We practiced every day since July. We competed in six previous competitions and fixed every correction, and it paid off!”
Owens explained the girls were ecstatic to share the hall at the Wid World of Sports with the Atlanta Braves.
“We were performing on the stage of the Wide World of Sports Arena at ESPN and the Braves were playing on the field behind the Wide World of Sports,” she said. “We got to high five many of the famous Atlanta Braves players as they made their way to their game. My own father, who is an avid Braves fan, was really excited.”
Coach Owens was nominated this year at the competition as one of the 20 finalists for the Ameri Dance/AmeriCheer Coaches of the Year for her dedication to the cheer and dance industry. Her nomination was made by previous and current dancers’ and parents’ letters and recommendations. She was treated to a limo ride to a reception as a finalist to this prestigious event and honored by the AmeriCheer/AmeriDance executive directors for her dedication.
She is also a math teacher at Cleveland Middle School and the choreographer for the school musical. Next year, will be her 15th year as the Cleveland Middle School dance team coach.
Cleveland Middle School Dancers attending the Disney World competition were Tiffany Croft, Laney Brown, Maya Sharma, Sophie Phillips, Josie Collins, Madison Collins, Mikayla Horton, Liv Davis, Jordan Kidd, Allison McGinnis, McKinley Calandrino, Cassie Jones, Ellie Mills, Madi Eshenbrenner, Anna Craig, Monique Mee, Hannah Graig, Jordan Graig, Taylor Parker and Mikhaila Ferguson.