PRC dance wins two state titles in one year

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 29, 2019

In a sport where some may just think of the Macarena, PRC’s Head Coach Sadie Penton said dance has become a heated competition for high school athletes around the country.

Putting previous stereotypes aside, those who participate in dance at Pearl River Central know what it takes to be successful at the highest level.

They showed that quality this past year at the state competition where they won two trophies in the Jazz and Pom categories.

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Penton said the athletes who participate in the competitions are year-round competitors, and they tirelessly work to be their best.

Penton has cemented PRC as a top squad in the state, winning eight state titles during her time as head coach.

To keep their place on the mountaintop, Penton and the team work together to get back to where they want to be, state champs.

“It takes the same amount of work each year, it’s not getting any easier,” Penton said.

“Everybody knows I have high expectations, but also we have a ton of fun.”

Penton wants her dancers not only to grow as athletes, but also as people off the dance floor. To do this, she hones in on a few key traits that will help the girls in the long run after they’ve stopped dancing.

“I try to teach them personal responsibility. Take responsibility for your actions, words and everything you do,” Penton said.

“The whole experience will be worth it because they learn so much and grow as a person.”

That experience includes working on and perfecting the team’s choreography and execution of the routine.Those are the main things judges are looking at, and to prepare for the scrutiny Penton makes sure her athletes are ready for any challenges they’ll have to face.That includes the physical aspect of dance, a facet some onlookers may forget about when watching a squad perform.

“You have to be an athlete to be a dancer,” Penton said.

“Even though the routine is only two minutes you have to be in good physical shape to get through the routines.”

At the end of the day, it’s more than just dance for these girls.

Penton referred it to learning another language, and she’s with them every step of the way to teach them how to be successful.

“I want to coach their whole person, not just the dance part, but making sure they have everything they need to be successful,” Penton said.

“I care for them as people and I make sure I have a positive impact on their lives.”

That positive impact wouldn’t be possible if programs like the one for PRC’s dance squad were not available.

The value of these programs can’t be understated, and Penton said that because of these organizations students have found an outlet to be themselves.

“It’s a way for them to be involved in school, a way for them express themselves,” Penton said.