ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- The Napa Varsity Spiritleaders have broken their own record to become the first high school team in the country, in the history of the National Dance Championships, to ever win a "10-peat' - ten consecutive National titles in the same division, small varsity pom.
The Spiritleaders competed in the NDA National Dance Championships in Orlando in which they went up against high school dance teams from across the United States and internationally. Out of the 340 routines competed by over 2,400 dancers, with 5,000 spectators in attendance, the Napa Spiritleaders earned the highest score of the entire championship, a 97.53, for their pom routine titled "Senior Year," choreographed by head coach Angie Ruiz. The routine also earned the Spiritleaders the "most innovative choreography award," "technical excellence" and "superior showmanship award," all selected by the National judging panel. Final results were;
Small Varsity Pom:
1st Napa High School Varsity Spiritleaders- Napa, CA 97.53
2nd Oakville Golden Girls- St Louis, MO 93.87
3rd Mater Dei High School- Santa Ana, CA 90.20
4th Tates Creek High School- Lexington, KY 89.33
5th Chatfield Varsity Poms- Littleton, CO 88.53
In addition to the Spiritleaders getting a 10-peat in the small varsity pom division, they also qualified to go up against the top scoring teams of the small, medium and large varsity pom divisions and international teams. For the fourth year in a row, the Spiritleaders also won the International pom division in a very competitive division with some exceptional competitors especially from Japan.
1st Napa High School Varsity Spiritleaders- Napa, CA 96.63
2nd Nanryo High School-Twinkle Gem Saitama, Japan 96.20
3rd Pascack Valley Regional Dance Team- Hillsdale, NJ 95.10
4th Urawagakuin High School-Splash Saitama, Japan 93.70
5th Saint Dominic Academy- Jersey City, NJ 93.43
The pom routine also earned the Spiritleaders the "most innovative choreography award," "technical excellence," and "superior showmanship award," selected by the national judging panel for the international division as well.
"In the pom division you are comparing apples to apples," Director Hollie Johnson Schmidt said. "The judges are looking at the same requirements, just who executes them the best. In the jazz division, you are comparing apples to oranges to bananas. This year the winning jazz team had a male dancer and they incorporated some beautiful lifts.
"Another team in front of Napa performed a scary themed routine with masks on for the entire performance," she said. "There were sad lyrical routines, modern, contemporary and hard hitting traditional jazz routines. It is very subjective to what resonates with that particular judging panel."
The Spiritleaders finished in the top 10 in the nation with a strong 6th place finish. Final results were;
Small Varsity Jazz:
1st Sachem North High School- Lake Ronkonkama, NY 95.13
2nd Mehlville Pantherettes- St Louis, MO 93.23
3rd Syosset Varsity Kickline- Syosset, NY 92.67
4th Oakville Golden Girls- St Louis, MO 92.53
5th Lake Mary Marionettes- Lake Mary, FL 91.47
6th Napa High School Varsity Spiritleaders- Napa, CA 91.07
The Championships ending with the overall awards. The Spiritleaders were awarded the "Best in Pom Award" for having the highest pom score out of all three divisions; small, medium and large for the fourth year in a row.
The also won the very prestigious overall "Grand National Champions" award for having the highest combined score from their pom and jazz scores out of the 340 routines brought to Nationals. Napa has won this top award in 2004, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Spiritleaders now have a total of 37 National titles.
Spiritleader members are seniors Ashli Horrell, Gabi Llamas, Rachel Remboldt and Abby Sneed; Juniors; Maddie DeLong, Madison Edmeyer, Paige Glover, Sarah Hazen and Julia Raven.
Spiritleaders Coaching Staff includes Schmidt and Ruiz and Assistant Coaches Lisa Garcia and Raeme Sergeson.