Panthers spirit teams win at regionals

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Panther cheerleaders catch Ronnie Dennison as she falls backward during one of their routines while preparing for the state competition Saturday.

By Ian MacLaren Journal staff writer

What a day it was for the Montezuma-Cortez High School spirit teams.

Competing at their regional competition in Grand Junction on Nov. 23, the M-CHS cheerleaders and the M-CHS dancers put on a show, finishing first overall in their respective divisions.


For the M-CHS dance team, the National Dance Association Regional Competition could not have gone better.

Competing against some of the top high school dance teams in the state, the Panthers placed first overall in their Hip-Hop Division and Kick Division. As a result, the Panthers qualified for the Colorado state competition and the NDA National Competition.

“Getting first at regionals was great for our group,” said junior Mackenzie Branson.

Panthers freshman Amelia Smith enjoyed success of her own, earning the distinction of top junior soloist in her division.

“I’ve been dancing most of my life,” explained Smith. “Soloing is easier in some ways because if you mess up, nobody knows. It’s also scarier though because you are on your own.”

Asked what allowed the Panthers dance team to enjoy such success, head coach Courtney Drewlo explained that the combination of hard work and an outstanding routine drove her team to victory.

“We hired a well-known celebrity choreographer, Emily Sasson,” said Drewlo. “She came down and worked with the team. Our routine has a lot of different styles and a lot of current, remixed songs.”

The Panthers will travel to Denver for the NDA State-Competition at the Denver Coliseum, Dec. 7.

“Our goal is to take first,” said Drewlo. “We’ve worked hard, and I think they can do it.”


Not to be outdone by their dancing counterparts, the M-CHS cheerleading team turned in a wonderful performance, placing first in their division at the National Cheerleading Association regional competition and earning a trip to the state competition in Denver on Dec. 7.

“We would like to be top 10,” said head coach Ashley Johnson. “We’ve improved a lot since last year.”

Regardless of how the team finishes however, one thing is for certain. Over the course of this season, members of the team have fostered life-long relationships.

“I like being with all of the people,” added sophomore Hope Pell. “I like that most of us are really close.”

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