Cooper High School’s dance team, the Cougarettes, are state champions.
The Cougarettes took home the Texas State Champion title for their division, a first in the 41-year history of the CHS squad, at the Texas Showcase of Champions Dance Competition Feb. 25 at The Colony. The team entered four team routines and 16 solo routines for evaluation and competed with 44 other dance organizations. The entire contest had over 348 dance entries who are placed into divisions based on team size, not school enrollment, and included teams from Grapevine, Lewisville, Frisco Centennial, Little Elm, Euless Trinity and Keller Timber Creek. The Cougarettes received a total of 36 awards based on their performance quality, technical execution and academic achievements.
In addition to the prestigious honor of being named large division state champion, the Cougarettes also received three other elite honors. The team was awarded the Showcase Elite Award given to the highest scoring entries of the competition. Only five other groups received this honor. The Cougarettes were named 2nd Runner-Up Grand Champion, which combines all entries and awards the top scoring entry. Each routine is scored on a 100-point scale, and only two other entries received a higher score average than Cooper with two points separating the top three entries. The State Champion Award of Academic Excellence was also bestowed upon the Cougarettes for their overall team GPA of 3.81. This is the second competition in a row the team has received this award.
Other awards received by the Cougarettes are:
· 3 Outstanding Performance Quality Awards
· 4 Outstanding Choreography Awards
· 3 Outstanding Technique Award
· Outstanding Precision Award
· Texas State Contemporary Champions
· Texas State Novelty Champions
· Texas State 1st Runner-Up Military Champions
· Texas State 2nd Runner-Up Pom Champions
· Super Sweepstakes - 90+ average on all 9 scoresheets
All 16 Cougarettes entered into solo competitions received Superior ratings and a gold medal for their solo performances. Kelsey Little, who is also the team captain, was named a solo finalist and performed during the awards ceremony for final placement. Little received 2nd runner-up for Senior Solo Finalist.
In addition to all the trophies and plaques, the Cougarettes have been invited to be feature performers in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and half-time performers in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. Invitations to these events are coveted and awarded based on merit and performance ability. Since February 2016, the Cougarettes have received a total of 93 awards at dance camps and competitions, as well as multiple feature performer invitations to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. The team will be performing with the Cooper Cougar Band in Hawaii over spring break.
The Cooper Cougarettes are a group of 9th-12th grade students who not only perform at football, basketball games and pep rallies but are also community minded. They serve throughout the year at the elementary schools and other community venues encouraging excellence and a strong work ethic. Through dance the girls learn grace, coordination, dedication, hard work and discipline. These skills will continue to influence the Cougarettes as they leave high school and enter college, the professional world and lead their future families. A Cougarette will be recognized by her excellence in each area of her life, her dedicated work ethic to each detail and her bright smile and manners. To be a Cougarette is to be a part of a 41-year tradition of excellence and to be a lifelong member of a treasured sisterhood.
The Cougarettes are under the direction of Kimberely McMillon, who has been with the team since August 2015.