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Liberty Dance Team takes NDA, regional firsts

: Among other honors this season, Liberty Middle School Dance Team ranked first place in the nation in pom and hip-hop at National Dance Alliance High School competition in Orlando. CONTRIBUTED
: Among other honors this season, Liberty Middle School Dance Team ranked first place in the nation in pom and hip-hop at National Dance Alliance High School competition in Orlando. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Liberty Middle School Dance Team compiled another outstanding season, winning in three competitions including nationals.

Last summer, the team entered Universal Dance Association Camp at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, earning first place in home routine, Superior trophy and Middle School Leadership Award, Coach Thomasena Garner said. Garner teaches science at Liberty.

Last November, the Liberty students competed in National Dance Alliance (NDA) Regional (Classic) competition in Nashville and placed first in pom, second for hip-hop. They earned those same honors and Junior High Division’s highest overall score in January at American All-Stars Southeastern Regional competition in Birmingham.

In February, these dancers entered NDA High School national competition in Orlando, Fla. “They placed first place in the nation in both pom and hip-hop categories,” Garner said.

Eighth-grade dancers are Maddie Barnes, Olivia Bauch, Sarah Bryan, Carsen Clift, Mary Caton Davidson, Grace Gray, Emma Lingerfelt and Molly Willis and seventh-graders Aubrey Blomeley, Chloe Bruder, Hayden Clift, Mary Einhorn, Kennedy Jackson, Maddie Moore and Abby Ryder.

Pom dances resemble cheerleading routines with dance techniques incorporated throughout. Very upbeat, hip-hop applies plenty of stunts and tricks, Garner said.

“It has been such an awesome year coaching the dance team,” Garner said. “I cannot put into words how exciting this season has been, especially with the double title win at nationals.”

“I’m so glad that we have the opportunity to represent Liberty and Madison City Schools at these competitions. Three national titles that Liberty Dance Team has won are not just for our team, but our community. Go Lions!” Garner said.

These Liberty students are hard workers with the ultimate goal of national kudos. “They felt like they had no choice but to keep working and finish with another title,” Garner said.

Liberty dancers practice about six hours weekly, along with weekend rehearsals. Garner encourages her squad to train as if they were competing with high school or college teams.

In service work, the dancers volunteered at Downtown Rescue Mission’s Fall Festival and with James Clemens Blue Angels at Heritage Assisted Living.

Hillary Bowen, sixth-grade teacher at Rainbow elementary, assisted Garner. Garner also acknowledged support from the team’s, Bowen’s and her parents; Liberty Principal Nelson Brown, assistant principals Jamie Golliver and Dr. Kary Roberts and Liberty faculty and staff.

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