Published 12:00 am Monday, February 16, 1998

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / February 16, 1998

DESTREHAN – The Destrehan dance team, the Desty Darlings, concluded a very successful season by receiving three superior and an excellent rating at the National Cheerleading Association Danz Regional competition held at Grace King High School last Saturday.

The team’s officer corps of April Fabre, Kristy Gauthreaux, Brooke Crocker and Ashley Haydel received a superior rating, the highest level awarded, in the officer’s dance. The officers also received the Silver Circle of FriendsAward in recognition of their teamwork, as well as the creativity and technical execution awards for creativity, difficulty of dance and excellence of performance.

The Desty Darlings also received a superior rating in jazz dance, dancing to a dance mix of the “Phantom of the Opera.” The third superior ratingcame for its novelty routine, which was a dance to the theme song of “The Flintstones.” For achieving three superior ratings, the team also receiveda sweepstakes award.

The Desty Darlings received an excellent rating, the second best rating, in the kick dance, dancing to the song “Heart of Rock and Roll.” The team alsowon the creativity and showmanship awards.

In the solo performances, Crocker placed first place among 26 participants. Melanie Brondum and Cheney Landry were also among the 10finalists selected from the seven competing schools.

The Desty Darlings were coming off the American All Star competition held at LSU Jan. 17 where they won more trophies cumulatively than anyother 15 competing teams.

The team swept the solo competition, receiving all five awards. Shana St.Pierre placed first, Crocker placed second, Landry and Gauthreaux were third, Jessica St. Pierre came in fourth and Lacey St. Pierre placed fifth.The Desty Darlings won first place in their division for their jazz routine and for their novelty routine. The ensemble dancers – Fabre, MandySchexnaydre, Crocker, Brondum, Landry, Stacey Vicknair and Gauthreaux – placed third in the competition.

The 38-member team began practice after the football season. The teampractices every day after school and on three Saturdays. The officers andsoloists practice their routines on their own time.

“They are good dancers,” Cherie Mitchell, director of the Desty Darlings, said of what makes the team successful. “Many go to dance school andhave a familiarity with dance. They pick up the steps well. When you putthem together, they make for a good dance team that works well together.

They are very committed to what they do and spend a lot of time with it.”The Desty Darlings will march in the Caesar Mardi Gras parade tonight in Metairie. The team’s annual banquet will be held March 7 ,and tryouts fornext season will be held March 23-27.

The seniors will lead a dance camp on March 14 and 21. The cost is $10 forone day and $15 for both classes. For more information on the classes,contact Mitchell at the school at 764-9946.

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