The Braintree High varsity dance team won two first place dance titles at the New England High School Dance Championship at Bellows Falls Union High School in Bellows Falls, VT on March 8th. Sponsored by the Council of New England Secondary School Principals’ Association, the annual competition included 19 qualifying teams from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut competing in hip hop, jazz, and pom categories. Braintree High competed in both the jazz and pom divisions and captured first place wins in each.
Judges at the Vermont competition gave Braintree High outstanding scores for overall impression as well as style and technical skill, complimenting the girls on their synchronicity, energy, smooth transitions and crowd-pleasing kick line.
The New England championship victory follows undefeated fall 2013 and winter 2014 seasons for the Wamp dancers. The team, which has nine state titles, claimed first place at the New England Cheer and Dance Championship at the Reggie Lewis Center in the fall, placed first at the winter Bay State Conference, and won two Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association state competitions this academic year.
Coach Jamie Campbell said the team’s major strength lies in the girls’ ability to work as a cohesive unit. “At practice, they take every correction and critique and use them as motivation to improve technique because they know how much potential I see in them,” she said. “While the girls are certainly champion competitors, they do not compete with one another but rather motivate each other to be the best they can be as individual dancers and as a team.”
The team of 23 dancers led by captains Alex Dean, Meg McCarthy and Claudia McHugh includes seniors Gabbi Fiedor, Marissa Balsamo and Nicole Coloma; juniors Emily DiGiusto, Emma Beguerie, Danielle Tressler, Jackie Swan and Shae Vartanian; sophomores Emma DiBona, Julia Mahoney, Kelly Martin, Haley Norton, Keziah Odom, Molly O’Toole and Hannah Stewart; and freshmen Abby Sullivan, Caroline Shadduck, Krista Lowe, Jane McAvinn and Sarah Foley. Lindsay Coleman is the assistant dance coach.
In addition to competing, the varsity dance team also performed at boy’s and girls’ varsity basketball games this winter. The dance team culminated their undefeated competition season by performing at halftime at the Lady Wamps basketball team’s Division 1 finals at TD Garden March 10th and again at the DCU Center March 15th. Junior dance team member Emily DiGiusto sang the National Anthem.