Blue Angels dance team clinches national championship bid
Published 10:26 am Monday, June 6, 2022
PANAMA CITY, Fla. | The Pearl River Central Blue Angels varsity dance team began the 2022-23 season with a successful team camp, winning multiple team and individual honors. The 25-member squad earned the Superior Trophy and first place in the Varsity Home Routine Competition, clinching a spot in the National Dance Team Championship Feb. 3-5, 2023 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.
“I am proud of the hard work this team put in to begin the summer,” Blue Angels head coach Sadie Penton said. “The success at team camp is reflective of those efforts. We look forward to the rest of the season going forward.”
The Blue Angels participated in the Universal Dance Association (UDA) team camp May 30 through June 2 at the Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City, Fla.
Teams were evaluated by UDA instructors and received blue, red or white ribbons based off showmanship and memory of routines performed. Pearl River Central received all blue ribbons – 50 total – to earn the Superior Trophy. The Blue Angels also received the 110-percent award, spirit sticks each day of camp and was named Team Drill Down winner.
The drill down competition included teams following a series of military commands from UDA instructors. The purpose of the drill is to help dancers improve focus and discipline, while moving in tune with the speed of the instructor’s commands.
In addition to winning the team Drill Down competition, Ashley Dewhurst was named Camp Drill Down Queen for winning the individual competition.
Pearl River Central had six All-American dancers including Dewhurst, Sophia Dupre, Ariana Secondine, Alyvia Lambert, Kaydence Smith and Angelea Ricco. The dancers successfully performed two 8-counts of pom, jazz, hip-hop and two 8-counts of their own choreography as part of the All-American tryout.
Bella Polizzi received the Pin It Forward award from a UDA staff member. Polizzi pinned it forward to teammate Kinsley Smith. To earn the Pin It Forward award means the camper has shown how passionate they are, is kind to others and is going above and beyond in classes while learning routines.
Other members of the 2022-23 Pearl River Central Blue Angel dance team include: Faith Beech, Hanna Callahan, Riley Carson, Kayleigh Dean, Maddie Fairchild, Adleigh Fricke, Mia Galloway, Baileigh Jordan, Diana Kawafha, Braylin Lossett, Morgan Pearson, Ella Ricco, Morgan Schielder, Laney Simmons, Lily Simmons, Camri Sleik and Chloe Stockstill.
Penton named 2021-22 Coach of the Year
Pearl River Central Blue Angels dance coach Sadie Penton was recognized by the Pearl River County School District as Extracurricular Coach/Director of the Year for the 2021-22 school year. The award presentation took place May 5 at the Brownstone Center on the campus of Pearl River Community College in Poplarville. Penton enters her 10th season leading the Blue Angels for the 2022-23 school year. The coach has led her teams to 14 state championships, including two in 2021. The Blue Angels have also finished top 10 nationally multiple times.
“I am honored to be Coach of the Year,” Penton said. “This recognition is a tribute to all the hard work of our Blue Angels dance team.”