Woodland High School varsity dance team set to attend nationals


Woodland High School varsity dance team coach Andira Terry is hyped to bring her team to Orlando for the Dance Team Union national competition in February next year.

The varsity team’s 14 dancers qualified for their skills showcased at the state competition, which took place in Seattle last December.
Terry, who has coached for 12 years, said the team shows promise and talent worthy of nationals.

“They’re probably the best team I’ve ever coached,” Terry said. “I have a lot of incoming seniors this year, and all of them have been on my team for the last four years.”

Terry said the dance team will undergo rigorous training before the national summit. Dancers will practice 10 hours every day beginning in July. All dancers must synchronize their moves to score high points from judges, a difficult but important aspect of training.

“ ‘Cleaning’ is a huge process of dance. Everything has to look the same, from their heads to their toes, and everything has to be the same,” Terry said. “We do a lot of ‘ninja cleaning’ where we just [practice] one count at a time. We just hit it full out, [and] then we correct all the little details.”

Terry did not disclose specific routines that will be performed at nationals to prevent copycats, a standard practice for dance competitions. She shared that the varsity team will incorporate cheer and hip-hop into its February performance.

The Dance Team Union will be the varsity team’s first national competition. Senior varsity team member Natalie Oster looks forward to practicing with her peers, as well as refining her technique.

“Mentally pushing yourself is hard sometimes because, whenever you’re trying to do something and your brain doesn’t want you to do it, that can put a toll on you,” Oster said. “But I always try to push past it, and I love my team, so it’s pretty easy.”

Junior varsity member Panda Terry is excited to visit the East Coast. The dance team is planning a trip to Disney World during their stay in Florida.

“We’re pushing ourselves every day to get these high scores,” Panda Terry said regarding her peers. “They’re very fun and kind of funny sometimes. [They’re] a family that I can go to if I need help with anything.”

Woodland’s varsity team will compete against 160 other teams around the country during the national competition. Students will meet industry professionals, including college dance coaches during their visit, as well.