Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of emceeing the 3rd and 4th Region KDCO Regional Dance Team Competition at Daviess County High School.  Teams from schools across Western Kentucky were on hand to compete in 4 disciplines:  Pom, Jazz, Open and Hip Hop!  There were nearly 50 routines total, but only one school could claim the title of Grand Champion.  And, this year, it was the Daviess County Pantherettes, who sealed the deal with this unbelievable Hip Hop routine.  WATCH!

That routine was choreographed by Kendal Connor, daughter of Daviess County coach, Debbie Connor.  It snagged Daviess County the #1 spot in the Hip Hop category, the award for Best Choreography and, of course, the Grand Champion title.  The Pantherettes now hope to carry that momentum to the state meet February 23rd in Frankfort.

High school dance has turned into one of the fastest growing sports in the Commonwealth.  And, yes, there are folks who would claim that dance is not a sport.  But, I can assure you . . . high school dance has all the necessary elements.  The girls train for competition for months and that training can be grueling. It's both physically and mentally challenging.  Ask the Pantherettes.  They get injured during competition and have to be carried off the floor by their teammates or the medical staff.  Ask any of the girls who were treated by my friend Jamie Ford, who was on hand to administer first aid and personal training to the contestants who needed it.  And, Saturday, several athletes needed it desperately.  There were ankle injuries, hip injuries and more over the course of the 5-hour competition.

But the one element apparent that truly proves high school dance is sport is the proverbial "agony of defeat."  While the Daviess County High School team was celebrating the sheer thrill of victory, other teams were devastated.  Take, for instance, the team from Grayson County Middle School.  They came to the Regional Meet with dreams of placing first or second in any one of their three disciplines and earning a trip to state.  But they left empty-handed and out of the trophies in each of the three categories in which they competed.

I felt for them as I handed out the final trophy of the day.  I already knew they weren't getting one.  And, now, they knew it too.  As the Daviess County Pantherettes cheered and celebrated on the right hand side of the competition floor, the Grayson County squad sat in tears to the left.  Their agony of defeat a rather painful reminder that in sports there are winners and, like it or not, losers.  But instead of dwelling on defeat Grayson County and the other squads, like Owensboro High School, that left D.C.H.S. empty-handed should walk away more determined to "bring it" in 2014.

I have been emceeing these events for years and I can tell you . . . hard work and dedication will save the day.  Practice may not make perfect, but it does eventually reap huge rewards.  Just ask the Daviess County Pantherettes.  They weren't always Grand Champs.  They didn't always place 1st or 2nd.  They just stuck with it and eventually it paid off.  This year was most definitely theirs and they seized the day and brought home the hardware.

(Image from Facebook)
(Image from Facebook)

For the teams that advanced to the state championship . . . congratulations and I'll see you in Frankfort.  For the teams that didn't qualify . . . hey, you hit it with your best shot, but it just wasn't your day.  That is simply the brutal nature of sports.

As high school dance continues to grow in popularity, the competition, the sport will continue to get stiffer and stiffer.  Get back to the gym.  Get back on the floor.  And get back in the groove.  2014 is right around the corner and some team, maybe your team, is going to be dancing its way to a Grand Champion title, just like the Daviess County Pantherettes.


More From WBKR-FM