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Local High School Dance Team Wins State for the First Time in School History

Cooper High School Cougarettes Take Home the Trophy at Last Weekends Competition

ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)- Last Friday, the Cougarette Dance Team of Cooper High School made history.

After 41 years, the Cougarette's won their first state title.

"We've been working so hard and so long, and to see our hard work pay off makes it all worth it." Said Kelsey Little, this years Captain.

The Cooper Cougarette Dance Team compete in the Texas Showcase of Champions Dance Competition on February 25th, where they took home the State Champion Title for their division.

According to Kimberely McMillon, the Director, her team entered four team routines and sixteen solo routines and competed against 44 other dance organizations.

And out of all the 348 dance entries, the Cougarettes came out on top.

"We did it together, as a team, and it feels amazing." Explained Tori Staggs, the Co-Captain.

Not only did the girls win State, but they also won 36 other awards, including the State Championship of Academic Excellence, due to their accumulative GPA of 3.81.

"These girls not only excel on the dance floor, but they excel in their classrooms and outside of school as well." Said McMillon.

Winning 37 awards and a big trophy isn't the only thing the dancers took away from the competition.

"As important as those trophies are, and although winning State Championship is huge, it's so special, and it doesn't come around often, the journey is what we will leave with." McMillon told KRBC.

The competition was tougher than they thought.

"As I was looking at them taking the floor for the state title, going against organizations that are super 6A, that have facilities, feeder programs and budgets that we can only dream of here Abilene, I just knew they were going to shine the moment I saw their faces light up on stage." Said McMillon.

Their hard work paid off in more ways than they would have ever thought.

McMillon told KRBC that the entire school was clapping for them and administrators gave them recognition throughout the week, but the best part was when she got an email from a very special person.

"Today, I just received an email from a founding member of the Cougarettes, Debbie Woodward, talking about how proud she is at what the girls had accomplished." McMillon stated.

Although some of the girls will be graduating this year, this isn't the end of their careers in dance.

McMillon told KRBC that there are a handful of girls on scholarship due to dance, and that she has also received phone calls from colleges about the girls wanting to continue to dance in college. 

The team has been invited to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Sugar Bowl and the Citrus Bowl. Also, the Cougarettes will be performing with the Awesome Cooper Band in Hawaii next week.


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