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All they want to do is dance

Saugus High hosts sold-out U.S.A. Regional Dance Competition Saturday

Posted: March 1, 2009 1:31 a.m.
Updated: March 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Sara Hicks, center, competes with the Valencia High Dance Team in the Small Lyrical category at the USA Regional Competition Saturday at Saugus High.

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Saugus High School hosted a sold-out show Saturday, as parents and friends packed bleachers to watch dance teams perform hip-hop, jazz and lyrical routines.

It was the U.S.A. Regional Dance Competition, held for the first time on the Saugus High campus.

“We had a lot of people show up,” said 17-year-old Sarah Yuwiler, a team captain for Saugus High’s dance team. “It’s kind of fun competing at our own school.”

Fourteen dance teams from throughout Southern California competed, including five from the Santa Clarita Valley: Saugus, Valencia, Hart, Canyon and West Ranch high schools.

Judges will decide which teams qualify for the national competition, to be held in Anaheim later this month, said Sandy Fisher, spokeswoman for the Saugus dance team.

While teams performed on one side of the gym, anxious girls waited on the other side of a divider, practicing their numbers in colorful glitter- and feather-covered costumes.

“I was nervous, but this is (my) third or fourth competition, so right now I’m not as nervous,” said Jennie Hersh, a junior at Canyon High School. “Today has been fun because I get to do what I love all day long. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”

Others couldn’t wait to show off routines they have been working on for months.

“We finally get to show everyone in Santa Clarita how far we’ve worked,” said 18-year-old Melissa Cooper of Hart High School, who added that her team practices every day at 7 a.m.

While some in the audience went specifically to see children and relatives, others knew performers from various teams.

“I liked the dances, the choreography,” said Sarah Ruffner of Valencia High School, who attended the event to see friends from a couple of local schools. “Everyone is trying their hardest.”

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