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Planoettes Recognized Among the Best Military Precision Drill Teams Nationwide
Planoette Military routine a highlight of Spring Show
Photo Courtesy of Planoette Bootbackers Booster Club
By Diane Goebel, Planoette Bootbackers Publicity Chairman
Plano Senior High's Planoettes have always excelled in the military category during contest season, and this year was no different. "The girls truly exemplified excellence during the Military performance at Nationals," stated director Meredith Walraven, "They won National Champions (first place) for this dance, earning a 99 and two 98s from the judges."
Little did this drill team know, the scouts from Creative Precision Awards (CPA), who search the country each year for the best military precision dance drill teams, had also discovered them. More than 400 candidates were considered by CPA for awards contention, and in early May, the Planoettes were notified that they had been selected as one of this year's elite twenty-five finalists.
According to Christopher Schiavone of the CPA team, "This is an annual choreography award, recognizing the accomplishments of the nation's most creative military drill teams and their choreographers. We celebrate the talents of those whose work lends to the larger creative collective of dance drill team."
CPA announced their winners on May 21, and Planoettes were awarded The Bronze Blade Award based upon their superior scores from the judges in each category and for receiving the highest score in at least one category. Judging categories include intricacy of arm and body movements and formations, degree of difficulty, originality, creativity, innovation, continuity, overall visual impression, and overall quality of the routine. "It goes without saying that we consider the Planoettes to be among this year's best-choreographed military dance drill teams," continued Schiavone. "Congratulations on what truly is one of the most original routines this year."
The routine was choreographed by Rachel Dodson, who has choreographed Planoette military routines for the past three years, earning the team national titles in Military each year as well as Crowd Pleaser and Judges' awards. Dodson danced at McLennan Community College and North Lake College before graduating from University of Texas at Dallas. She is Military Staff Captain for ADTS.
The Planoettes have been rehearsing their military routine since the fall, with Lieutenant Kate Finley and Lieutenant Captain Julia Goebel leading the team to perfect this dance. "This award is the icing on top of the cake," according to Finley, "Even without these amazing awards, I am so proud of what this team has accomplished! After our performance the whole team knew we had done our best, and that was all that really mattered. The energy and excitement that was flowing through the team then was the best feeling ever."
"It was such an honor to get to work with Kate and the team on polishing such a creative dance to make the routine look spectacular and precise," reminisces Goebel. "The girls worked incredibly hard and put their heart into the performance, and Kate and I are very proud of everyone for that."
"It gave me chills when they finished performing this routine at contest, and I stood up clapping and cheering as other teams congratulated us on an amazing performance!" said Walraven, "Hearing people you don't even know say those things meant so much. The girls were smiling and excited because they knew all the hard work had paid off during that two and a half minutes."
The Creative Precision Awards exist to act as a preservation society for military dance drill team, and it is apparent that with their influence, this genre is here to stay.
The Planoettes Drill Team is made up of 70 junior and senior girls and the Maroon Guard. Director Meredith Walraven and Assistant Director Lindsay Placke lead the team. For more information visit planoettes.org.
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