Strutting their stuff to the strains of the "Footloose" soundtrack, the Eagle Valley High School Devil Dancers made it to the final round at last week's Colorado High School Activities Association Spirit Team State Championships.
It was the first finals performance for the EVHS team since they entered 4A competition. They placed fourth in the event, behind the Evergreen, Regis and Broomfield teams, respectively.
"We are kind of the scrappy underdogs in the competition," said dance team coach Cindy Ramunno. "The 4A pom division in Colorado is extremely competitive and other teams typically pay for choreography, music and a theme idea. We don't."
Instead, the dancers developed their "Footloose" performance with choreography by team captains Casey Lammert and Hayley Beard.
Ramunno noted that coming up with a dance for the state championships is a big challenge for the team, which typically goes for crowd-pleasing entertainment rather than stylized competition routines.
"We are one of the few teams in the state that doesn't repeat routines for our home crowd. Our home crowd always comes first," said Ramunno. "I'm so impressed with our girls' ability to flip the switch and deliver something totally different for the state competition."
Ramunno said the girls showed their true winning character beyond the competition floor.
"I am really proud of how our girls presented themselves at state. I get tons of compliments about how friendly and approachable our girls are," said Ramunno. "That's more important to me than how they place - that their character shows through and that they enjoy their performance."
Members of the EVHS Dance Team are: Seniors Beard, Lammert, Maddie Cerny and Kiah Fricker. Juniors Tania Olinar and Annika Stough. Sophomores Katie Andrews, Morgan Felton, Claire Guzik, Kenna Keller and Elle Turnipseed.
Following the team's finals performance, Beard was named to the Colorado All-State Team.
"During the four years that she has been on the dance team, Hayley has never missed a practice nor a performance. That's pretty amazing," said Ramunno. "I don't think many high school athletes can make that claim."
With their state championship performance complete, the team will continue to entertain the crowds during the EVHS basketball season. Ramunno noted that tryouts for the 2012-13 team will be scheduled in the spring and the EVHS website will list the information.