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Bingham High Minerettes Win National Championship

May 05, 2016 03:17PM ● Published by Julie Slama

By By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals

South Jordan - Bingham High School’s drill team, the Minerettes, recently won the national Contest of Champions tournament, and were crowned grand national champions.

“The girls were so excited,” coach Jamyn Miller said. “They were jumping and screaming and ran to the middle of the floor to accept the award. It’s nice to feel our hard work paid off and was recognized.”

The Contest of Champions was held March 5-7 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. More than 600 routines were performed, including four by the team of 31 Bingham High girls.

The Minerettes received trophies for winning individual dances as well as the overall championship as well as plaques for innovative choreography. The school’s drill program received $1,000 and each dancer received a championship jacket.

Most teams competed over two days, but Bingham’s competitions all were on March 5.

“The team was there at 8 a.m. so they could run through their routine before they performed at 10,” said parent Jessica Harris. “They were done at 11:40 p.m. It was a long day, but it was so much fun.”

The first routine the Minerettes performed was a military dance, where the drill team has precise, crisp movements.

“They did really well. They were so happy and excited with nailing the routine and getting good scores, that it set the tone for the rest of the competition,” Harris said.

And that it did, Miller said as they received a perfect score on the second performance, their character routine.

The character dance allows the team to dress and use props and music to create a story. In Bingham’s case, the girls dressed as robots using school colors, silver and blue.

“It’s just an amazing routine, definitely a crowd-pleaser and favorite. The girls love it and get excited performing it,” she said.

With LED lights on the costumes, and silver face paint, Miller said parents played a key role in helping the girls get ready for the competition, including one parent taking the costumes to the airport hours early for security checks.

The last two dances were jazz and hip hop, where, again, the Minerettes scored a perfect score. After each routine, they received comments and scores from the judges.

“They had no idea how they were doing against all the other teams. There’s tough competition from some really good schools so they didn’t know until the awards were announced on Sunday night,” Harris said.

Bingham competed in the large division, which was based on the number of dancers on the team. However, the overall grand national champion is the best of all divisions. 

In addition to that title, the team also received innovative choreography awards in military and in jazz routines. Both Miller and assistant coach Jerra Stout choreographed the military dance while choreographer Savannah Thompson collaborated with them on the hip hop routine.

A highlight was that during the awards program, the judges asked for their favorite top dances, one in each category, to be showcased. Bingham High was asked to perform their character dance and received a standing ovation.

“That was just amazing that they were able to give an encore performance of their favorite routine. It was just a perfect ending the season,” Miller said.

The Minerettes have little time off. Already, they have held dance auditions and selected 32 dancers for their team. The students are chosen based on academics and citizenship as well as dance ability. The team begins rehearsing in mid-May. 

“This all helps build our program and makes it stronger. We have talented dancers joining us so we’ll be expecting the dancers to raise the bar just like they did this year,” Miller said

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