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Garces Competitive Dance Earns Team Title

The Garces Memorial High School competitive dance team made history with an overall team title in the program’s first competition last month.

Over the weekend of April 23-25 in Orange County, the Rams won the overall victory in the contemporary division with a number called, “Falling” at the Thunderstruck Dance Competition, earning the Lightning Gold title at the regional competition. 

“That was our first competition that we were in and won it overall in that particular category,” Garces dance coach Georgia Peck said. “This is such a wonderful opportunity for our program to start off with a title of this caliber.”

The competition at Thunderstruck consisted of dance studios, Garces was the lone high school team in the competition. 

“This is a huge win. We just started the program last year,” Peck said. “We were supposed to go the week Covid hit (in March 2020) and never got to do anything. So we revamped the two dances we’ve been working on because Garces got to go back (to in-person education in October) and we were in the dance room with masks on dancing. It seemed to all gel, so off we went to compete.”

The team consists of Amanda Bagley, McKenna Braun, Ireland Fleming, Elena Mendoza, Hannah Neira, Sarah Rodriguez, Dominic Villalpando, Cortland Witt, Sophia Zaninovich, Aviana Borba and Kirstyn Lindsey. 

Villalpando recently was admitted to the dance program at Pace University in New York City, the first high school senior to be accepted to the acclaimed college.

“I knew we were pretty good,” Peck said of her expectations for the team. “I think it was a great start. You normally have to build your way up. It takes time to become an overall winner. It was a great outing and the kids really had a lot of fun.” 

This will be the lone competition for Garces this spring, however there will be more competitions next school year.

“I think this is huge because we expect more dancers to come into Garces in the coming years,” Peck said.

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