Dazzlers achieve 9-peat


by Eric Ordonez

On Feb. 5, the Dazzlers woke up knowing they would be competing for the most
prestigious prize in high school dancing: the national championship, held in Orlando, Florida.
The Dazzlers seem to never disappoint every year, at least for the last nine. And, no, that
is not a misprint; it has been the previous nine years the Dazzlers have taken their talents to the
national stage and won. And they excelled again on Feb. 5 to win their ninth consecuative
national championship.

Along the way, they have made memories, created friendships with competing dancers
across the country, and put together resumes for future potential colleges.

“To everybody we just say ‘everybody that hates just motivates’,” said junior Jenna Bain.
Bain said she believes that people can say what they want but after all the talk is done, the
Dazzlers can show people they have proved them wrong.

Team members say that their championship success has sometimes led critics and even
peers to use social media like Facebook to criticize the team. However, this has simply fueled the
dancers to grow as a team and work even harder. The harsh words have built tough skins on the
girls, and senior Caitlin Naugle turns the negativity into positivity in the best way possible.

“It just means we overcame what people said we couldn’t do over and over again,” said
Naugle. “We worked our butts off and now we can finally look back at every hater and say, ‘look
at us now’.”

Hard work, commitment, and the determination have taken the team to the point of
repeated championship success, and head coach Todd Sharp said the team is a model for other
teams.

“As far as the team goes, they are the hardest working team I’ve ever been a part of. This
is really a great team, a great honor to be a part of. I’ll have other dancers, even principals that
are at other schools call me at tell me how amazing our program is. They thank us for setting a
model of what a dance team should be and it’s really a great honor,” said Sharp.

Sharp has been a dance coach for 17 years and is very proud of the reputation his girls
create behind his name and the program’s. One thing most people may not know is that Sharp
combines the responsibilities of being the head coach of the Dazzlers and University of
Louisville’s dance team spirit leader. Nevertheless, he brings the same intensity and morale with
him and he thinks that sometimes with winning comes great determination and drive.

“He sees the potential in all of us. If we are not performing in practice he will tell us that
we aren’t doing our best or we could give a better effort and it really motivates us. Without the
push he gives us we wouldn’t all be as strong as we are,” said Bain.

Sharp said the Dazzlers exemplify hard work.

“Absolutely nobody works harder, nobody. Maybe because of the fact that the sport
doesn’t have a ball people don’t get it. They don’t get how much goes into the practices and hard
work in those gymnasiums. You can’t name another sport that works as much as we do. We do

12 months a year, five days a week,” said Sharp.

For the seniors, each class of every year goes through the same emotions. However many
there are, they are certainly comparable. Naugle agreed that the entire experience of being a
Dazzler has been a “really good experience.”

“It’s all been like a journey. We first learned our routine in April and ever since then
we’ve worked so hard to this point. It’s basically just been a lot of repetition. When you’re
performing you can’t and don’t think about anything else. It’s just something that gets instilled in
your mind,” said Naugle.

The final year of the senior Dazzlers’ high school career will be extremely emotional.
Naugle joked and said, “I think at the end the whole world is just going to come to an end and
stop.”

Bain said that being on the Dazzlers’ dance team gives provides advantages beyond high school.

“I know that at Hawaii University they give a lot of full ride dance scholarships. So if
they see you were on the Dazzlers team they will probably consider you heavily to coming to
their school. It’s a great thing to be on this team; it gives us a lot of opportunities after we’re
done with high school.”

The Dazzlers have built a reputation for excellence and attract new talent every year. The
continuing cycle of graduating seniors means they must keep mentoring new members to ensure
continued success and future championships.

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