Newton County Theme School Dance Team members (not in order) Eris Allen, Ivanna Bugg, Samantha Caines, Emma Camfield, Avanne Elliott, N’Kai Johnson, Kayla Goodridge, Shalomi Malit, Allison Mowatt and Séah Odum won first place in hip-hip dancing and third place in pom at the Kennesaw State University Dance Team Invitational on Feb. 1. The following week, the team placed third in both the hip-hop and jazz categories at the Universal Dance Association’s Georgia State Dance Championship. (Special photo)
COVINGTON – In just its first year, the Newton County Theme School Dance Team has had a successful inaugural season, placing highly in many competitions.
Coached by sixth-grade science teacher Jessica Tamburro, the nascent dance team of 10 girls began training in August.
“Being a small middle school, I only had about 14 girls try out,” said Tamburro, an experienced dancer and coach. “I have coached at Davis Middle School in Conyers and am used to around 60 girls auditioning. Nonetheless, this year’s team has been the best team I have ever had. The girls had little to no dance experience and had to compete against other teams who have been dancing in studios their whole life. The girls looked just as good, if not better, than some of those teams, and it really shows the hard work they have put in.”
The team’s first competition was the Red Hotz Dance Team Invitational at the University of Georgia, where they were able to take first place in a cheerleading-inspired routine known as pom, as well as second place in the hip-hop category.
From UGA, the team went to Kennesaw State University’s Dance Team Invitational on Feb. 1, placing first in hip-hop and third in pom. The NCTS dance team went up against four other teams from various Georgia schools.
However, the team’s most important competition was the Universal Dance Association’s Georgia State Dance Championship on Feb. 8. The team placed third in both the hip-hop and jazz categories, competing against schools from South Carolina and Tennessee.
With having such a successful team in its first year of competing, Tamburro added, “I couldn’t have asked for a better team.”