Precisionettes Make History in Orlando

Zoe Fenner, Sports Editor

Fans pack the stands and roaring cheers fill the Pat Cunningham stadium as the Woodson Dance team takes the field for their renowned football halftime show. The Precisionettes command attention and with an energized performance that rallies the crowd and players for another half. Then, long after football season comes to a close, the Precisionettes are hard at work perfecting routines and preparing for competitions.

The Precisionettes perform their Pom routine. Photos courtesy of Krissy Schnebel

This season, the Precisionettes had the opportunity to compete for the first time at the National Dance Alliance (NDA) competition in Orlando, Florida, from March 2-6. NDA is a prestigious dance competition that hosts some of the best high school dance teams from across the nation. Coach Krissy Schnebel says that she has always wanted to “bridge the gap” and “build a program that would make [the Precisionettes] good enough to attend.”

After qualifying in January, the Precisionettes faced strict time constraints as they raced to prepare their dances. With the help of coaches and parents, they choreographed and learned a jazz routine, a pom routine, and added on a hip-hop routine a month before the competition took place. Schnebel says, “preparation [was] all day, every day,” with some practices lasting upwards of six hours.

The Precisionettes perform their Hip-Hop routine.

Not only did the Precisionettes qualify for the first time to compete at NDA, but also they became two-time finalists for their Medium Varsity Pom and Medium Varsity Hip-Hop routines. After five superb performances, the Precisionettes placed 17th in the nation in Pom and 11th in Hip-Hop.

Schnebel applauds her athletes for their success with their hip-hop performance. She says, “in my fifteen years of coaching, that’s probably my top moment as a coach, because “[the athletes] were in it to win it.” 

Precisionette captain Beth Johnson says that she is very proud of herself and her fellow teammates for their achievements while in Orlando. The Precisionettes faced exhausting travel and rigorous competition but rallied and “put everything on the floor” for their performances. She says that their time at Nationals “brought [the Precisionettes] more together as a team because everyone leans on each other.” 

The Woodson Dance team in Orlando, Florida.

Senior Rachel Harris shares Johnson’s gratitude for the NDA experience, saying “in the short time that I was [in Orlando], I improved so much on my skills and got so much closer to the girls.”

The Precisionettes will be losing seven seniors next season, a loss Schnedel says is “personally devastating” because they are all “phenomenal young women.” The legacy of the Precisionettes has been strengthened, and with next season already revving up, “the [new and returning] girls are ready to start again and live up to what we did.”