WLC dances to New England championship
WILTON – Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative is now home to the New England dance champions.
The school dance team returned Sunday from the New England Dance Competition at Westfield State University in Massachusetts with two championships: eighth-grader Rebecca "Becca" Hadley in solo dance and the team as a whole.
They had earlier won the Emmanuel College Dance Competition to advance to the championship.
This year was Becca’s first with the team, which was founded in 1998.
"Was I scared?" Becca asked. "Yeah. It was very nerve-wracking."
It was also a lot of work.
"I went over the solo over and over whenever I had spare time," Becca said. "I ran the steps through my head. When we got (to the competition), we were allowed to practice so we knew our squares, and then people came in and watched and it was really nerve-wracking."
But once they started, all that disappeared.
Becca described the dance as "lyrical," which combines several dance forms from ballet to acrobatic. Her solo included cartwheels and several jazz sections.
"It all depends on the music so we end up in the right place on the last note," Becca said.
Each routine had a list of required elements, and the team was rated on them. Other members of the team are eighth-graders Amber Silk, Erin Shephard, Lylli Pineault and Mishell Pfeil. Melodie Jones is the coach.
In the championship, Becca earned 75 points out of a possible 100, and the team had 73.3 points.
In the preliminary round, Becca earned an overall score of 236.5 out of 300. The team’s duet finished third in the preliminaries and did not advance.
Eighth-grader Elizabeth Hilton-Trask, the team’s manager, helps with costumes and makeup, and making sure everyone is doing well. She is the oldest of the group, but not by much.
"Sometimes I feel like a counselor," she said. "We’re all family."
On the team, timing is necessary.
"We have to trust each other on the turns," Becca said. "There is a lot of communication. We all depend on each other."
She said she planned to continue with dance.
"If we’re together next year, we’ll be a lot more experienced," Becca said.
In the meantime, there are two new trophies to savor.