Vail Christian High School dance team wins its sixth straight state title |

Vail Christian High School dance team wins its sixth straight state title

Vail Christian Dance Team competes at halftime during the boys basketball game Jan. 7 in Edwards.
Chris Dillmann | |

EDWARDS — The last time Vail Christian High School did not win a state dance title, the “Rise of Planet of the Apes” was driving people bananas and people were occupying Wall Street.

With six straight state titles, no one with Vail Christian High School’s dance team knows how it feels when they don’t win.

They like that feeling, said tri-captains Generose Angarola, Emma Cerovich and Sophia Branden.

“It’s humbling to work with this team,” Cerovich said. “We have the opportunity to be puffed up with pride, but because of our coaches and the girls on the team, none of us take the titles for granted. It feels good to win, and we know how much work it takes. We know it’s not given to us.”

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Life is like this

The seasons run from August to December, closing with the state championship. They pick it up again in January and go until March. Every year is different. In fact, most weeks are different.

As they’re learning their state dance, they’re also learning a new dance to perform at games each week. They say learning that much helps them, well … learn that much.

They not only improved through the season, but also from one championship day performance to the next. The first round they scored a 72, the second a 77.

They knew after the first round that they’d made it through to the finals, but they didn’t know where they stood. They got their own score, but no one else’s.

There’s a life lesson in that, Cerovich said.

“Trying to compare yourself to other teams or other people is not how you should live life,” Cerovich said. “You shouldn’t try to compare yourself to others. You should focus on what you’re doing.”

It’s like family

This is coach Patti Carlson’s sixth year, and her sixth state title at Vail Christian. She got involved when her older daughter was on the team and they needed a coach.

“I figured I’d do it for a year,” Carlson said.

Winning is good, she said, but there’s one thing better.

“The best part is watching these girls grow into young women,” Carlson said.

Coach Aili Thomas has choreographed the last three state titles.

“She has a family and works, and still makes time to come in here and work with us,” Angarola said. “We’re grateful to her and her dedication to the team. She’s a very faithful woman and it’s nice to have her spirit and the Lord’s spirit with us.”

“She does a great job helping us display our talents in a really classy and entertaining way,” Cerovich said. “That’s one of the reasons we have won all these. Her choreography is amazing.”

Six straight state titles is both terrific and terrifying, Branden said, but mostly terrific.

“Each new year and title adds stress. We have to keep that string going,” Branden said.

That much togetherness is everything you imagine it would be, Angarola said.

“We work hard and sometimes get annoyed with each other. But that’s part of being a team. It’s great to come to a place after school and be around people who love you. It’s like having a little family,” Angarola said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and

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