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Draper Journal

Corner Canyon High Hosts Rocky Mountain Drill Team Invitational

Jan 26, 2016 09:10AM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Draper - More than 30 Utah high school drill teams showed their precision and talent at the Rocky Mountain Drill Invitational.

Local team winners include Hillcrest High in Midvale as both the 4A and sweepstakes winner and Bingham High in South Jordan as the 5A champion. 

The Jan. 8 and Jan. 9 competition was hosted by the Corner Canyon High drill team, who as hosts, did not participate in the competition.

The competition included hip hop; lyrical; dance; character, which allows the team to dress and use props and music to create a story; military, where the drill team has precise, crisp movements; pom, similar to military with angles and lines, but is more light-hearted, fun and energetic and usually is performed at football halftimes; and officer, where team captains perform any genre of dance. 

“There are several dances the teams can compete in during invitational meets, and it’s up to them how many and which ones they want to perform,” Corner Canyon High drill team coach Jordan Peterson said. “At region, every team performs three required dances, but here we had teams compete in several.” 

Peterson said that Corner Canyon hosting the event brings in community support.

“We do this so our community can appreciate drill, be a part of what’s going on and it gives teams an audience to perform for,” she said, adding that drill teams usually participate in three competitions during the winter months leading up to the regional competition.

Corner Canyon’s Charelles won first place in the 4A military competition at the Wasatch Invitational Dec. 5 in Heber City. They also placed second in dance and third in hip-hop. 

At the Utah Valley University invitational on Dec. 12, they received second places in both hip-hop and military and third in dance. 

They planned to compete Jan. 16 at the Richfield Drill competition before hosting the 4A regionals on Jan. 30. 

Last year, although they won the regional competition, Peterson said they will face more competition this year.

“Hillcrest moved down from 5A and other good teams came up from 3A, so it will be tough. Our goal is to place in the top five at state this year and to continue to build the program. We’ve had a taste of success, now it has light our fire. We’re thriving under pressure and have placed in the top three in all our competitions this season,” she said.

This year, the first round of state is on Feb. 4 and those advancing, final round on Feb. 6. Last year, Corner Canyon placed fourth.

“We did remarkably well for our second year, coming from being a fairly new school, and sweeping region and placing at state. We want to continue to build our dynasty and that will take years to build with kids who are passionate about it, who are responsible and disciplined, who are dedicated and work as a team and those who can take constructive criticism to improve their execution,” she said.

Peterson said it also takes time and lots of practice. 

Corner Canyon’s current 33-member team was selected by judges last spring after more than 60 girls tried out during a three-day period. They were evaluated not only for their abilities in dance, technique and choreography, but also as they interact with others and if they’re coachable, she said. Peterson also reviews their academics and citizenship.

Then, the team practices year-round, with a break in July. In the summer, they practice four hours, concentrating on their endurance, flexibility and technique. Come fall, the focus shifts to choreography, unison and cleaning up their routines.

At the end of the season last year, they qualified for a national competition in Los Angeles and placed second. This year, they were selected to perform at Disneyland and will dance there as well as take master classes in the area instead of competing at a national contest.

In addition to practicing, Peterson encourages the team to participate in community service and they volunteer about six times per year as a team. Recently, they have helped with Festival of Trees benefitting Primary Children’s Medical Center; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk; Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer; and Dance for Life benefit concert to aid The Road Home homeless shelter.

“Being part of the team helps with their dance skills and talent and learning teamwork, but high school is also about building character and service helps build a well-rounded experience,” she said.

Area schools with top finishes in hip hop include Hillcrest, first in 4A; Alta, third in 4A; Bingham first in 5A; Brighton, second in 5A; Granger, third in 5A and Riverton, fifth in 5A.

In the officer competition, Hillcrest won the 4A division and Brighton won the 5A. Riverton placed second in 5A, Taylorsville was third and West Jordan High was fourth.

In the lyrical contest, Hillcrest won first place in 4A and Alta was second. In 5A, Brighton was second and Taylorsville was third.

In the 4A military contest, Hillcrest won; Alta was fourth and Kearns placed fifth. In 5A military, Bingham won; Brighton was second and Hunter was fifth.

The 4A dance champion is Hillcrest, with Kearns placing fourth and Alta, fifth. The 5A dance winner is Bingham, with Brighton, third; Taylorsville, fourth; and Hunter, fifth.

In character competition, Hillcrest won the 4A title, with Kearns finishing fourth and Alta, fifth. Bingham won the 5A contest, with Brighton, third, and Hunter, fourth.

The top 10 routines included Hillcrest for officer, character, military, lyrical and dance as well as to Bingham in hip hop and character.

First-place individual winners from Hillcrest include Caroline Tarbet, Alyssa Gustafson and Myranda Scherschligt.