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Laker dancers make national finals

LOHS team won regional competition to qualify for championship


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: JAMES MCGREW - The Laker dancers made the finals in the 2014 National Dance Team Championship.The Laker dance team is among the best in the nation.

Lake Oswego High School dancers placed 14th out of 40 teams in the Large Varsity Jazz category at the 2014 National Dance Team Championship at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., earlier this month. The team competed in the finals with the top 16 teams.

“When they called our name for finals I was so overwhelmed with excitement,” said Kendall Peddie, senior captain of the team. “It was like in that one moment, everything we had been dreaming of had just come true.”

Performing to Celine Dion’s “Alone,” the Laker team leapt, kicked and spun before a crowd of 10,000 spectators, said Kendall Shepherd, Lake Oswego varsity dance coach. About 330 dance teams competed in divisions based on size and age in jazz, hip-hop, pop and high kick categories. Shepherd and Hayley DuLong coach the 20-member team.

“I’m just so beside myself that my smallish little team from Lake Oswego, Oregon, not only qualified to compete, but is nationally ranked in the top 14,” Shepherd said.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: JAMES MCGREW - The LOHS dance team performed in front of a crowd of 10,000 spectators.

DuLong said she and Shepherd have been working to build team members’ confidence and skills.

“We went into the season telling the girls that they have what it takes to compete at the nationals level but that it would take extreme commitment,” DuLong said. “They were up for the challenge, so we set high goals and worked really hard every day toward achieving them.”

The team first competed in a regional competition last June, placing first overall and clinching a spot at nationals.

The Universal Dance Association administers the National Dance Team Championship, which the National Federation of State High School Associations endorses. The national federation serves high school athletics and fine arts programs in speech, debate, theater and music.

The Lakers and the Lakeridge High School Pacer dancers will compete in the Oregon School Activities Association championships March 19-20 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @jilliandaley.




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