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Pride of the Tide preparing for state competition

The competitions continue for the dancers of the Picayune Pride of the Tide.

The athletes have worked alongside the band and color guard to put together a performance that saw the band receive an all superior rating at the state evaluation.

Now, the dancers are shifting their focus to themselves as they prepare for a state dance competition, which will take place Dec. 13 in Jackson, Miss.

Members of the Pride of the Tide have learned a plethora of dances this year and are now adding more to the repertoire in preparation for their upcoming competition.

When the band’s competition season ended Directors Shanna Kirkland and Megan Millis said the girls did a good job of staying focused and working on the new competition dances.

“We had to be on top of that, keep working and not slack off just because we were done with (band’s) competition,” Kirkland said.

An obstacle the group has had to overcome has been the lack of a permanent facility for the dancers to train.

There’s no designated area, or building for the Pride of the Tide and so Kirkland is in constant contact with her dancers to relay where the day’s practice will be held.

“We have to bounce around and it’s hard because we’re carrying props and everything around. I’m always sending out texts and reminders on where the girls need to go for practice,” Kirkland said.

The dancers have to be able to adapt and change points of focus on a daily basis with all of the shows the Pride of the Tide take part in.

Alongside the field show with the band there are other events the dancers are preparing for, along with the upcoming test in Jackson.

Kirkland said her athletes have done a good job all year of maintaining positivity and dancing to the best of their abilities, no matter the routine.

“We’ve had to switch modes several times. They’re really good at it and have done a really good job of being excited. We just try to prioritize our next event,” Kirkland said.

It’s crunch time now for the dancers as they only have a few more days to prepare before they’ll head to Jackson.

The dancers have already learned the routines, now it’s just a matter of getting everything competition ready.

“We’re just working on sharpness, the overall cleanliness of the dance.  We’re just putting the finishing touches on it and getting it ready to perform,” Kirkland said.

Just because the group’s final competition is Dec. 13 doesn’t mean the dancers have the rest of the year off.

After school practices will continue next semester as the dancers prepare for the finale spring show, which will see the performers learn an additional five dances. There will also be a boy/girl dance that’ll serve as a fundraiser for the Pride of the Tide and seniors will get a final send off on stage as well before the group’s award banquet.

Then the cycle repeats itself as tryouts take place and a new group of dancers are tasked with carrying the torch for the Pride of the Tide.