Members of the Pirtle Elementary Dance Team brought the house down at the Central Texas Regional Dance Team Competition on Feb. 22 at Belton High School, winning the “Esprit De Corps” award plus taking first place in the Open Category.
The 60-member team of first-, second- and third-grade students - the youngest competitors at the event - performed a routine to “It’s a Hard Knock Life” from the musical “Annie.”
And most surprising?
Only six of the dancers take lessons outside of Pirtle’s after school dance program.
“We thought it would be great to give this experience to kids who might not ever have such an opportunity,” said Amy Martinson, one of four Pirtle teachers who volunteer with the after school dance program. “There were no try-outs. Everyone was invited to join!”
With a goal of competing in a half-time competition, the group prepared by making appearances at the Belles Winter Show and the Belles Show-offs.
“I am so proud of these kids and my dance teachers,” Martinson said. “These teachers gave their time every Thursday afternoon to give these kids an experience they will never forget!”
Martinson is joined by teachers Elizabeth Bandy, Heather Whiteley and Jennifer Andermann and her daughter, Berkley Martinson, a former BHS Magic Belle.
The team won several awards at the Feb. 22 competition, including:
1st in Open Category Judges Awards for: -Outstanding Technique -Outstanding Entertainment -Outstanding Presentation -Presentation Award -Choreography Award
They also beat out the 52 other teams competing to receive the "Esprit De Corps,” given to the routine of the entire day that brought the house down.
The team will be recognized during an award ceremony 8 a.m. March 6 in the Pirtle library.