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Posted on Feb 2, 2019

Jills qualify for districts

The Quincy High School Dance and Drill team showed it is in midseason form by qualifying to districts on the first event of its season.
“I was not expecting that,” head coach Alyssa Santos said.
The Jills, as the team is known, competed at Pasco’s Chiawana High School on Jan. 26. The all-girl squad posted a score of 197, two points above the required 195 to qualify for districts.

The Quincy Jills Dance and Drill team performs during halftime of the Quincy-Toppenish boys basketball game on Jan. 29.
Photo by Sebastian Moraga/Post-Register

Key to qualifying was the emphasis the team put on showmanship, Santos said, with stronger facial expressions during the performance.
The goal now is to qualify for state, which occurs in late March at Yakima’s SunDome.
The team, composed of 13 dancers, competes in two different disciplines: Show and Pom, with two different routines. They have already qualified for districts in Pom and will try to qualify for districts in Show.
Their season has two dates left until districts, starting with their Feb. 9 competition in Moses Lake and ending Feb. 23 with a performance at Spokane’s Shadle Park High School.
Districts is on March 2 at Selah High School.
The team needs to score a 210 in any of these performances to make it to state, scheduled for March 22 and 23.
State is a two-day competition, with one day reserved for big schools and one day reserved for smaller schools. This year, the smaller schools (1A, 2A, 3A) compete on the first day.
This year’s routine is titled “Selena,” and it contains a medley of songs by Tejano music legend Selena Quintanilla, who died in 1994.
“I love Selena, and I thought, ‘Why not just try it,’” Santos said of creating the medley. “The judges really loved it. It’s a really cute routine.”
The team performs dressed in purple, a nod to one of Selena’s most famous outfits, which was in that color, Santos said.
With a mostly Mexican troupe, the choice was a hit for all the students, both Hispanic and Anglo, Santos said.
The Pom performance asks a lot out of the dancers, with jumps and leaps and turns included in the two-minute medley.
“We are trying to really sculpt this routine into more of a dance Pom routine,” Santos said, as opposed to a more hip-hop style. “It’s a little bit of a challenge but these kids are learning it so fast, and pushing to learn more and more.”
The Show routine is more fun and less technical, Santos said, and the Jills are enjoying it.
This year, unlike previous seasons, the team will not have a home competition, as Quincy will not host the Snowflake Shimmer this year.
“It’s just a lot of work,” Santos said. “We have been doing it for 15 years and we decided that our time is up.”

By Sebastian Moraga,