WHS German Folk Dancers earn first in state

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

April 27, 2022

For the third year, Whitney High School German Folk Dancers have earned first place at the Texas State German Contest. Team members are Linsey Bledsoe, Jasmyne Britain, Lilly Cundiff, Kacie Davis, Kade Deaton, Fabio Garcia, Manny Herrera, Syvana Hill, Ben Hunt, Jack Lee, Prila McIntyre, Kaelyn Motherspau, John Nesselroad, Irlanda Ortega, Ahtziri Romero, Kynnadi Seeley, Kenzi Ward, Sean Keegan and Kaylee Miller.


The Whitney High School German Folk Dancers recently won first place at the Texas State German Contest (TSGC) for the third year in a row.


“The team, which was formed by German teacher Kathy Radde in 1999, was awarded first place for the first time in 2019 and then again in 2020, but was heartbroken when the TSGC Contest Steering Committee decided to cancel the dance portions of the contest in 2021 in response to COVID,” said German teacher Lisa Mays. “Despite the setback, our award-winning group continued to practice and perform, even in masks, and as a result maintained a strong competitive team.”


Hard work and dedicated leadership from captains Jack Lee, Lilly Cundiff, Manny Herrera and Prila McIntyre and sponsors Lisa Mays and Haley and Ethan Becker helped manage this year’s large team of 19 students and led Whitney to the win.


“The Whitney High School team is and has been the largest German folk dance team in Texas for a number of years, but lately the winning combination of elements has been to acquire new uniforms and lederhosen, to hold practice twice a week throughout contest season, and to offer dance seminars led by professional dancers Zach and Piper Brown,” Mays said.


Another important aspect of maintaining a winning team has been the opportunity to travel and perform at local events and annual fairs, including Westfest, Pioneer Days, Muenster Germanfest, Tulsa Linde Oktoberfest and Tomball German Heritage Fest.


Mays said that the students have benefited greatly from involvement in these events, which helps to build their self confidence and presentation skills, as well as their ability to work together as a team.


“The continued support of the school’s administration, the local community and especially former dancers who continue to visit and follow our group have also done much to instill pride in our dancers and make their success possible,” she added.


Across all categories at the competition, Whitney tied with fifth-place Bellaire High School with a total of 151 sweepstakes points. Ultimately, TSGC awarded Whitney sixth place overall sweepstakes because there cannot be a tie and the Steering Committee decided that Bellaire had fewer contestants while Whitney had a total of 34 competitors. In effect, the school with fewer contestants competed in 18 events and won more points per student with a total of four first-place wins.


“Needless to say, the competition is extremely tough, and Whitney competes against schools both public and private, varying from 1A to 6A in size,” Mays said. “Having participated in the contest since 1997, Whitney High School is not a newcomer to the event and we know we have to strive to keep our standing. There are no gifted points; our German students must earn their scores with hard work and dedication.”


Whitney’s results included—
First Place – German Folk Dance: Linsey Bledsoe, Jasmyne Britain, Lilly Cundiff, Kacie Davis, Kade Deaton, Fabio Garcia, Manny Herrera, Syvana Hill, Ben Hunt, Jack Lee, Prila McIntyre, Kaelyn Motherspau, John Nesselroad, Irlanda Ortega, Ahtziri Romero, Kynnadi Seeley, Kenzi Ward, Sean Keegan, Kaylee Miller


First Place – Einzeltanz (Couples’ Dance): Jack Lee and Lilly Cundiff


First Place – Skit Level 4 – Rumpelstilzchen: Kacie Davis (Best Actor), Cadence Bidwell, Kade Deaton, Billy Canfield, Manny Herrera


Second Place – Club Album: Macy McKinney, Evelyn Figueroa, Danna Guille, Lilly Cundiff, Linsey Bledsoe


Second Place – Doll Costume: Kaelyn Motherspau, Jasmyne Britain, Elizabeth Foster


Second Place – Lower Level Puppets: Jessie Anderson, Cadence Haught, Syvana Hill, Andrea Martinez, Kenzi Ward


Second Place – Upper Level Puppets: Brennen Overton, Jo Morrow, Felicity Christ, Sean Keegan


Third Place – Poetry Level 1: Xavier Romero


Third Place – Shirt Design: Jace Flores, Elizabeth Foster


Fifth Place – Photography: Jack Lee


Sixth Place – Photography: Lilly Cundiff


Seventh Place – Poster: Emily Maldonado

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