Quincy Jills’ season ends at district championships
The Quincy Jills Dance and Drill team fell shy of qualifying for state and instead ended its season at the district championships in Selah on March 2.
The Jills performed their routine, an upbeat tribute to Tejano singing star Selena, with grace and enthusiasm, but the judges disagreed, giving them a score of 190.5, shy of the 210 points needed to qualify for the state championships.
“It was a little hard to swallow that one,” said coach Alyssa Santos, describing dealing with the new scoring system as “a battle.”
The performance at district was more uptempo than in past weeks, with new steps and moves.
“I really was hoping that it would boost the score, but it didn’t make a difference,” Santos said, “which is hard, because I thought it looked better than when we started.”
Several members of the team said the performance at districts went well, but needed more power.
“I think it went good, but it is what it is, we can’t go back and change it,” said Jills dancer Alejandra Rodriguez, minutes after the team stepped off the gym floor at Selah High School.
Santos agreed, but added that several factors conspired against having a more powerful routine.
“The music wasn’t really loud so it was hard for (the dancers) to get into it,” she said. “It’s really hard when the crowd is quiet and the music is low to really get all that power in it and feel the energy.”
Nevertheless, the team was not ready to end its season at districts, Santos added.
“To be done at districts is really hard because these kids have been together, working hard for three months straight,” Santos said. “And for it just to be over, they are going to miss each other, and the seniors are done, so they are not going to dance with them again this year.”
The 12-girl team loses five senior members to graduation in June.
One thing that hurt the Jills’ chances was having judges score their routine not on its own merits, but compared with the performances of bigger schools in their category, Santos said.
The Jills competed in Pom, one of four categories at districts. The others were Military, Kick, and Hip Hop, with a handful of exhibitions in between.
“Being judged off of the (bigger schools’) routine really hurt our score, because we don’t have so much of that technique like they do,” Santos said, before adding. “It would be difficult to not judge you off of who went before you.”
The team tried a different style of Pom this year, Santos said, and the team “ran with it and did amazing” this year, Santos said.
“I’m so proud of them,” she added.
The season was a success despite not making it to state.
“For us to still qualify to districts, it was still really good,” she said.
The work resumes in May with tryouts, and then practices in June, Santos said.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org