By Plaid Press
On Friday September 21, Highlander Hall was packed with students, teachers, and staff who came to see Dancing With The Staff, a dance team fundraiser based on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
Sixteen teams competed for first place. They were judged by three celebrity judges: Mandy Moore (“La La Land” and “So you think you can dance”), Robert Roldan (“So you think you can dance”), and Morgan Larson (“La La Land” and “Dancing with the Stars”).
The judges each gave scores narrowing down the competition to the top seven trios. These included English teacher Rachael Phipps, science teacher Melissa Savage, English teacher Maureen Grandchamp, Special Education Assessment Coordinator Edward Guinto, choir teacher Katie Vincent, counselor Christopher Gimber, and drama teacher Stuart Fingeret.
From there, the audience sent in their votes online, and Phipps emerged as the winner. It was Phipps’ birthday, which was a great gift to end her night.
“It was really fun and exciting. It was a great payoff for the students who choreographed the routine to win the whole competition. It was also vindication for last year where I came in second place,” Phipps said.
The judges awarded second place to Gimber for his musical theater dance. Third place went to Fingeret for his modern dance complete with inflatable dinosaur costume.
Hundreds of students came to support the dance team and see their favorite teachers perform. The event was a memorable experience for all who attended.
There were many styles of dance represented such as science teacher Nancy Nasr dancing Bollywood, art teacher Stefani Thomas dancing in the locking style, and history teacher Stacy Netzley doing country line dancing.
“Dancing with the Staff is a great way to bring the community together because there are multiple students, teachers and staff represented. So, everyone kind of wants to come see them perform,” dance teacher Dana Fukagawa said.
Each of the teachers and dance team members attended hours of practice to learn their choreography and perfect their routines together.
“The practice was good. The girls were so sweet and talented and patient. All the girls had such good attitudes. Backstage we were all very supportive of each other,” office assistant Karley Castro said.
The second annual Dancing with the Staff competition was clearly successful as evident by the roars of the crowd and the discussions among the student body and staff on Monday morning.