Heath Highsteppers win national/international competition

(HEATH, TX — March 25, 2016) The Rockwall-Heath Highstepper Officers were named Best of the Best of all the officer teams that competed at the American Dance/Drill Team National/International Competition in Denton last weekend (March 18-19). They were also named International and National Kick Champions, 1st Runner Up National Champions, National Champions in the Open and Contemporary categories and 1st Runner Up in the Pom category.  They received the Gussie Nell Davis Award of Excellence and won National Academic Champions (with a 3.82 combined GPA) for the second year in a row!  Out of all the teams that competed, including teams from Japan, the Highsteppers were named 4th place overall in Best of the Best. The Highstepper Elite Team was named National Champion in the Jazz and Contemporary categories and 1st Runner Up in the Hip Hop Category.  They also received the Gussie Nell Davis Award of Excellence and named 1st Runner Up out of all the Elite teams that competed.

Pictured from left to right, front row: Jr. Lieutenant Brooke Resseguie, Lieutenant Soriah Hassanizadeh, 1st Lieutenant Audrey Lawrence, Captain Shawnee Gillham, Director Monica Lyon, Assistant Director Anna Blair, Laura Bender, Sr. Lieutenant McKenzie Bryant, Lieutenant Kaitlyn Peacock, Jr. Lieutenant Taylor Transou, Savanna Gear, Mary Beth Deren, Savannah Trembeck. Second row: Taylor Frisby, Kimberly Valera, Emma Young, Kaitlyn Birdsong, Crystal Vo, Juntra Chanthavisay, Kaelyn Hurley, Chloe Grabenhorst, Brittany Dickison, Tatum Purdue, Kelsey Dvorak, Abby Scott, Victoria Steele, Natalie Jecmenek, Tristan Withrow, Ashlynn Smith, Kaitlyn Strother, Molly Mosby, Elizabeth Carranza, Maggie Weatherman. Third row: Lexi Shields, Jessica Le, Emily McNutt, Crystal Aguirre, Sarah Chan, Dara Chanthavisay, Jessica Blundell, McKenzee Yang, Kate Dunbar, Mallory Mee, Sage Buchanan, Emma Grabenhorst, Mikayla Armstrong, Madison Severn, Anna Deren, Rachel Skelton. Fourth row: Karina Wooten, Sarah Sealey, Sydney Turbeville, Emma Judd, Paige Rogers, Daniela Ramirez, McKinlee Reynolds, Karisa Baumgarten, Melanie Lopez, Kaitlyn Fisher, Jill Fisk, Rio Boswell, Mallory Goucher, Patricia Waldeier, Sara Regian, Audrey Maxson, Brooke Hamlett, Brittney Hubbard, Hannah Luff, Madeline Dunton, Yeinsleen Uc.

Several soloists who competed also received National awards:  McKenzie Bryant, Sr. Lieutenant – 4th Runner Up, Taylor Transou – Jr. Lieutenant – 3rd Runner Up (Tie), Anna Deren – 3rd Runner Up (tie), Shawnee Gillham, Captain – 2nd Runner Up, and Madison Severn – National Solo Champion! Some of the Highstepper officers also received National Champion Finalist recognition with their solo performances:  Shawnee Gillham – 2nd Runner Up, Taylor Transou – 3rd Runner Up, and McKenzie Bryant – 4th Runner Up.

The Rockwall-Heath Highsteppers are under the direction of Monica Lyon and assisted by Anna Blair.

From left to right: Brooke Resseguie – Jr. Lieutenant, Soriah Hassanizadeh – Lieutenant, Audrey Lawrence – 1st Lieutenant, Shawnee Gillham – Captain, McKenzie Bryant – Sr. Lieutenant, Kaitlyn Peacock – Lieutenant, and Taylor Transou – Jr. Lieutenant.

Story and photos submitted by Stacey Bryant.

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They were named International and National Kick Champions and 1st Runner Up National Champions.   They also were named National Champions in the Open and Contemporary categories and 1st Runner Up in the Pom category.  They received the Gussie Nell Davis Award of Excellence and won National Academic Champions (with a 3.82 combined GPA) for the second year in a row!  Out of all the teams that competed, including teams from Japan, the Highsteppers were named 4th place overall in Best of the Best.  The Highstepper Elite Team was named National Champion in the Jazz and Contemporary categories and 1st Runner Up in the Hip Hop Category.  They also received the Gussie Nell Davis Award of Excellence and named 1st Runner Up out of all the Elite teams that competed.

Several soloists who competed also received National awards:  McKenzie Bryant, Sr. Lieut. – 4th Runner Up, Taylor Transou – Jr. Lieut. – 3rd Runner Up (Tie), Anna Deren – 3rd Runner Up (Tie), Shawnee Gillham, Captain – 2nd Runner Up, and Madison Severn – National Solo Champion!