SunDancers Claim Victory at Vista Ridge Dance Competition

Katie Hendler, Human Resources Director

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  • Striking a pose, the SunDancers finish their award-winning jazz routine to ‘Something’s Gotta Hold on Me.’ This routine is a fan and dancer favorite. “I really like performing the jazz dance because I can really show my personality in it,” Zoe Bellomio ’24 said.

  • The SunDancer line officers stand together during their contemporary routine to ‘Poison and Wine.’ After performing, the dancers received a standing ovation and first place prizes.

  • SunDancers perform their team open routine at the Vista Ridge Dance Competition. This performance, to ‘Supercut’ by Lorde, won first place in its category.

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On Saturday, Feb. 26, the SunDancers showcased their routines at the Annual Vista Ridge Dance Competition (VRDC). Competing with three team dances, three officer dances, two ensemble routines, and two solo dances, the team took home 13 awards to add to their collection, including the overall grand champion award.

“Getting to compete with my new team and be the grand champions of the competition felt so amazing,” Morgan Muscato ‘24 said. “All of the hard work we put into our dances definitely paid off.”

Muscato, a rookie on the team, performed her solo at the competition in the Public High School 9-10th grade category. Muscato won first place for her category, taking home a new medal and flowers.

“When competing [for] my solo, I felt nervous but I also felt excited just to be on stage performing and doing what I love,” Muscato said. “When hearing I won first place with my solo, I was so surprised and thrilled that I won. I was also thankful for all my teachers who helped me achieve my goal of winning.”

The team was also awarded with trophies for best overall precision, best showmanship, outstanding choreography, and best technique to go along with the awards for each winning routine. 

“It felt really incredible to win, [as] we just put in so much of our time and work into our dances that it all feels worth it when we do win,” Faye Merritt ‘23 said. “It just goes to show how far along our dances have come and it’s super rewarding to win.”

The dancers enjoy the contest experience for the opportunity to spend time with their teammates and dance together.

“My favorite part of competition is getting off of the floor right after having finished a dance and getting to discuss with my team about how well we did,” Merritt said. “There isn’t really any part of competitions that I dislike, [and] I really enjoy getting to watch other teams dance and compete and spending time with my own team.”

Dancing in the competition was not the only highlight for the team. The dancers had the opportunity to watch other dance teams compete when they had breaks. They could watch the other high school teams, as well as the elementary school, middle school, and dance studio teams.

“I loved the energy at the competition at Vista Ridge,” Bella Friedrich ‘22 said. “A personal highlight was watching the younger dancers. Their performances were definitely inspiring. I don’t think I would have changed anything about this experience. Although we might have had a few mistakes, our performances were overall very strong.”

This experience was especially memorable for the senior dancers, as this was their last competition with the team. Because of COVID-19, competitions last year were canceled, so this was the first year of contests for many members of the team.

“As a senior, it was very bittersweet because this was my last competition with the team,” Friedrich said. “We worked so hard to prepare these pieces, and to see them all come together was beautiful. I will miss this experience.”

The SunDancers are hosting their annual showcase “Escapade” on April 1st and 2nd at the Round Rock ISD Performing Arts Center. The team will be performing their contest-winning pieces, as well as others, and will also have featured performances from the other dance classes and teams at Westwood.