YAKIMA, Wash. — High school students from across Washington state are taking over the Yakima Sundome this weekend to compete in the WIAA Dance & Drill State Championships.
“Today is the best of the best of the best," WIAA Assistant Executive Director Cindy Adsit said. "They compete during the regular season and have to meet a minimum qualifying score and those that meet that then go on to district competition, which is a higher qualifying score and those that qualify there, then come here."
More than 150 performances from 75 teams for a total of about 1,500 students — all there to dance their heart out and showcase their skills. Adsit said of all the competitions WIAA hosts, this is her favorite.
"It's the costumes, the music, the variety, it's nonstop entertainment and the sportsmanship," Adsit said. "It's the best of what we do. It's what interscholastic educational activities is all about.”
Jamie Cravy came to the competition to support her daughter, Gracie, who's a senior at Selah High School and one of the captains of the Selah Viking Dance Team. Cravy said they sometimes hear people attempting to diminish their achievements by saying it's not a sport — something she strongly disagrees with.
"When you watch them and you see their four or five hour practices, you see their 12 or 13 hour choreography days, you see the bruises on their legs," Cravy said. "It's just as much a sport as softball, baseball, basketball. They work just as hard.”
That hard work has led them to win several awards at the state level, including the
2A STATE CHAMPS!
2022 State Pom!
Award: STATE CHAMPS!
Selah State Hip Hop 2022!
Award: 3rd in State
Selah High School 2021 2A PoSTATE CHAMPS!!! Incredibly proud of you all!
Hard work - that led to them qualifying for state.
Gracie cravy, senior at selah high school “just going on stage is a surreal experience, just like being here in the first place.”
The event - is also big win for yakima - which has hosted the dance/drill state championships since 1996.
Rich austin, director of sports development, yakima valley sports commission: “5000 people, roughly 2600 room nights and … just a little bit shy of $2 million in estimated economic impact.”
But the impact on the students? Priceless.
Jamie: “. She's learned that not everybody gets a trophy. She's learned how to be on time. She's learned responsibility, dedication. It’s a lot more than just dance.”
In yakima emily goodell kapp-kvew local news.
Tickets are $13 dollars for adults and $10 for students, seniors and military.
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Emily Goodell joined the KAPP/KVEW team in February 2019.
Emily was born in raised in Yakima, where she currently works as our Yakima Bureau Chief. She’s worked in nearly every journalism medium, but above all else, her passion is investigative reporting. At the Yakima Herald-Republic, Emily worked as a breaking news, city government and crime and courts reporter. She’s served as a city government and education reporter at the Ellensburg Daily Record, a freelance journalist for Yakima Valley Publishing and as Northwest Public Broadcasting’s Yakima Correspondent.
Emily completed a news reporting internship with Spokane Public Radio and an arts and culture reporting internship with The Inlander, an alternative urban weekly in Spokane, Wash.
She also covered censorship and freedom of the press issues facing student media across the nation at the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C. Emily graduated from Whitworth University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Mass Communication.
In college, Emily worked with her colleagues and researchers at Florida International University on a collaborative project looking at the experiences of women working as professionals in the communication field. Throughout her high school and college career, Emily competed in speech and debate tournaments at the regional, state and national level.
Emily is an avid traveler. Within the U.S., she’s visited 16 states and the District of Columbia. Outside the country, she’s also been to Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa. While in Durban, South Africa, Emily was more than 10,000 miles away from her hometown — about as far as you can get.