Tiger Talk: TRDT’s First Experience at Nationals

Tiger Talk: TRDT’s First Experience at Nationals

Welcome to #TIGERTALK – a SweetwaterNOW exclusive series where Rock Springs High School Tigers inspire our community by telling their stories in their own words.

Participating at Nationals has been a dream of Tiger Rhythm Dance Team (TRDT) for years, going back way before we were on the team.

Every year, TRDT attends a four-day long National Dance Alliance (NDA) dance camp. That’s where we learn all of our routines for our year. We perform them at the Tiger Town Bash, football games, basketball games, and the Dig Pink volleyball games. During the camp, we split up and learn different routines and a routine altogether, that routine is called our camp dance.

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This is the first year we have been in the elite category. We perform this routine in front of NDA judges and we can get a bid to Nationals depending on how well we do. This year our coaches told us if we put in the work and we got a bid in the elite division, we could go!

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That was such an exciting thing to hear, and we had four days to work together and perfect a difficult routine.

Cleaning a routine is not the easiest. During the four days, we had to change things, get everyone to look the same, move the same, and memorize the choreography. We all pulled through together and we got the bid to Nationals!

This was a turning point for us.

Instead of our year ending after basketball season, we worked all year long. We put in a lot of hard work this year to get to Nationals. We fundraised at many events and on our own to raise money for this exciting experience. When we found out we got to go to Nationals, we knew what the rest of the year would have to consist of; hard work, positive attitudes, and practice.

We set the bar high for ourselves, and we couldn’t give up.

Our season usually lasts from mid-July through February, and in this case, June through March. We dance most of the year; workouts in the summer, camp, choreography, and practices during the school year. When tryout season comes, every girl knows that there are early mornings, late nights, hard days and good days, and a ton of hard work and dedication.

At the beginning of the year, we practice every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:30 a.m. When we
start cleaning state routines, it goes to four days per week, adding Friday nights and Saturday mornings, sometimes. About a month or so before state, we start doing daily practices. Some days, we’ll practice all day. This is where dedication and hard work plays. This year, we couldn’t stop after basketball. We had to keep pushing until nationals. Our coaches did a great job pushing us and keeping us motivated this year. We definitely couldn’t have done it without them. We were working so hard. Yes, there were those days, but we didn’t give up.

We got to State and did the best we could put on the floor. We placed third in Jazz, and second in Hip-Hop. It was a big step down from our first-place titles last year, but it made us want to try even harder. We weren’t going to give up or stop working. We pushed and pushed for that next month so we could do great at Nationals.

When we arrived in Orlando, all of us were excited and ready for the competition. The next day we competed and placed 14th in Jazz, and 17th in Hip-Hop. We missed making it to the finals by less than two points!

That was exciting to hear. The first team from Rock Springs to go to NDA Nationals and make it
that close to finals?!

We did amazing on stage and we were so proud of what we accomplished. This event has been a dream for years, and it finally came true.

A huge thank you goes to our coaches, Laura Christensen and Amber Serna. This team loves you dearly and we are so thankful for everything you do for us. We wouldn’t be TRDT without you guys. We also couldn’t thank the community, businesses, and parents enough for helping us get to this point in our program and make this dream come true. We truly could not have done it without all the support.

And until next time, we can’t wait to see what next year has in store for the RSHS Tiger Rhythm
Dance Team!