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Going For Gold

Gold Duster dance team’s best season yet
Keeley Walker
2023-2024 Gold Dusters performing their pom routine at a girls basketball game.

These are the dancers of our time. The 2023-2024 Gold Dusters dance team just completed their best season in their history. From new friends, new routines, and new trophies, these girls have taken the season by storm. The team participated in basketball halftime shows throughout the season and two dance competitions. Both competitions, the Farmington Dance Invitational and the Fort Zumwalt North Dance Invitational, were held in January 2024.

Leading up to their first competition, the team danced at the boy’s basketball game on January 12. They performed two routines, one before the varsity game, and one during the varsity halftime. The following morning at Farmington Invitational, they left everything on the floor at 11:09 for hip-hop. Junior Ava Hovis choreographed their hip-hop routine. As a team, they worked together to bring together their outfits, which consisted of black cargo pants, black Adidas shoes, a black sleeveless top, and fierce make-up.

At 2:49 they performed their pom routine, choreographed by Melissa Miller. They wore an outfit they previously had: black leggings, jazz shoes, and a long-sleeved shirt of black, white, and gold with Blackcats written on the front. That evening, all of the dancers gathered on the floor to await their results.

In Division 2 hip hop, they placed 3rd. In Division 2 pom, they placed 1st. For Division 2, they played 1st overall and received the special award for outstanding showmanship. These girls did absolutely amazing for their first competition of the season, bringing home trophies for both dances and more!

Their second competition of the season took place on January 20th at Fort Zumwalt North Dance Invitational. Performing the same routines, they placed 2nd in pom and 1st in hip-hop. They improved greatly in hip-hop, making the team, their parents, and the school proud.

5th grade teacher Mrs. Shannon Hovis coaches the team, leading the girls. Her daughter Ava Hovis participates in the team and holds a very strong opinion of it. Ava says:

“We are so close that we can help each other without arguments. We have fun at practices and are full of joy together. My favorite dance this year would probably have to be our pom routine that we brought and won 1st place with. Traveling to comps was also so much fun. For Fort Zumwalt, we got in a 15-passenger van and sang the whole ride. There were food stops and ice cream, and it honestly brought us even closer. Four of the eight girls got to stay in a room together at the hotel and made even more fun memories. Overall, there are so many good things to say about Gold Dusters and how we have improved over the years, but this year is the one I will never forget.”

These girls give so much inspiration to our young dancers. They are amazing role models and are re-writing dance stereotypes. The ability for a dance team to work without a captain is hard, but they are proof that it is possible. Ava Hovis (11), Hannah Rehkop (11), Mackayla Berry (11), Hailey Parson (11), Reagan Haferkamp (11), Callie Rice (10), Linda Yang (10), and Brenna Tucker (9) will go down in Fredericktown High School history. Five out of eight of these girls are juniors, and it is so exciting to see what they will bring for their final year in 2025.



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About the Contributor
Keeley Walker
Keeley Walker, Editor
Keeley Walker is a junior who was moved up from a first-year publication student to head editor for both Scratchpad and Yearbook. Not only involved in publications, she is on color guard throughout the school year and plays baritone during the concert season. Some of her club participation is FBLA and DECA, filling the role of Vice President for both, and FBLA District 12 Secretary. She is also an active member of Beta and Upward Bound. She is currently working on her Associate of Applied Science in Business Management degree, with the plan of starting her own photography business.