Team kicks up its heels at state
The Chieftain Stars dance team was the main event for a few minutes last week at the Class 4A state basketball tournament.
The Tonganoxie High squad performed during halftime of the Goodland-Andover Central girls basketball game last Wednesday at Salina's Bicentennial Center.
Dance team member Jenna Bradley said the basketball fans really got into the halftime show.
"They were hooting and hollering for us before the music started and we didn't even move," Bradley said. "It was fun."
The Stars performed to the song "I'm Good (Without You)." Coach Pam Lamb said the team could perform for no more than five minutes, according to state rules. The group's performance was about three minutes long, Lamb said. Little River's dance team also performed during the halftime.
"It went really good," Lamb said. "I was really proud of them. They performed well."
Roughly 15 parents made the trip west to watch the girls perform.
It was the dance team's first performance at a state basketball tournament. To be eligible, high school dance teams had to send letters to the state activities association explaining why the teams should be allowed to perform at the event.
Squad member Jenna Bradley said the performance was an ideal experience for the Chieftain Stars.
"I've danced in stuff like this before, but some of the girls here haven't," Bradley said. "They loved it."
As the school bus headed south out of Tonganoxie last week on its way to Salina, dance team members saw small white signs staked along the highway wishing them luck with their performance. Parents made signs for each of the girls, complete with their names and slogans.
"We felt like the basketball players," Bradley said with a big smile. "We really did."
However, Bradley said she had hoped the basketball team could have been at state as well.
"We just really wished the girls could have gone down there to play," Bradley said. "They deserved it."
The girls team, which played at state last year, lost to Sumner in substate finals.