Rocklin High School dance, drill teams celebrate awards

By: Autumn Matz, Placer Herald Corespondent
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The dance and drill teams from Whitney and Rocklin high schools competed against teams from Granite Bay, Oakmont and Napa in a groundbreaking National Dance Alliance commuter camp earlier this month. Although both schools were competing, the two teams presented a united front at the camp. “Both Rocklin and Whitney looked like a united group of dancers,” said Whitney High School coach Amber Adams. Each school had three competing teams: Junior, Varsity and Varsity Elite and each team learned several routines in the categories of jazz, hip-hop, kick and leaps and turns. The Whitney High School team took home several awards including first place in the Varsity Team category, voted “Most Spirited” team by the other teams in the camp and they were awarded a bid to the National Dance Alliance National competition. Individually, the girls earned several top acknowledgments as well. Third-year team member, Michaela Cano, was selected to the All American Team and was awarded the “Top Gun Best Kicks,” a competition within the camp to crown dancers as having the best kicks, leaps, turns and hip-hop, of the entire camp. Veteran team member Kaitlynn Gruber also earned a place on the All-American Team. The awards Cano received were not the only thing she enjoyed about the camp, she said. “I really liked the experience of getting to know my team,” Cano said. The Rocklin High School team also received several awards at the camp. The Junior Varsity and the Varsity won the Technical Excellence award, the Spirit Stick award and bids to the NDA National Championships. The Junior Varsity team and the Varsity Elite team received silver in their team dance divisions. Several Rocklin High School girls took home additional awards as well. Kayla Zellers, the team captain, received the excellence in leadership award and was selected for the All-American Team. Junior Sienna Mitchell and freshmen Kelsey Mayrand and Amanda Scalmanini also made it onto the All-American team. Adams said she has one theory for why the Rocklin teams were so successful. “They thrived in the environment,” Adams said. “It inspired everyone.” Autumn Matz can be reached at