Wilsonville High School's Pride Dance team is no stranger to hard work. In August, the team began rehearsing its routines for the national competition, which takes place this March.
"This year is one of the hardest working teams I've ever had," Pride coach Kristina Fetterman said.
The team rehearses and conditions at least three days each week.
In Fetterman's eight years of coaching the Pride, the team has had its fair share of ups and downs.
"We've gone through a lot of cycles," she said. "Like in anything, we've had strong years and then we've had to rebuild."
Fetterman said that since the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) changed the way placement works at the state competition two years ago, Wilsonville hasn't taken home a trophy. Teams used to compete based on each dance category but now compete for overall places by OSAA class (6A, 5A, 4A, etc.)
"We've missed out on a trophy by one or two places so I'd love to bring a trophy back to Wilsonville this year," Fetterman said.
This year's state dance competition takes place March 15.
The Pride hope to bring home another trophy from the national competition in Anaheim two days later, March 17. The team has gone to nationals for the past two years and placed well in at least one category each year.
Because there is no regional in this area for Varsity USA Dance, which puts on the national competition, the Pride have to qualify by sending in videos of its routines.
Based on the team's performance at fall competitions and on the girls' hard work and unity, Fetterman has confidence in the Pride's ability to bring home trophies from both the state and national competitions.
"They all have the same vision and same goal for the team," Fetterman said. "They want to get along but they also want to be successful and they're all willing to do whatever it takes to get to that point."
As Fetterman's coaching experience coincides with the team's selflessness, everything seems to be falling into place for the Pride, leaving the team poised for success as it heads into the biggest competitions of the year.
"I think over the course of my coaching, I feel like I'm getting in to my stride. The team knows how to function based on my expectations, so they've risen to the occasion," Fetterman said. "There's no attitudes, no star attitudes. They are very much team players. They do whatever it takes for the good of the team and that's pretty special."