First Time Champions

After the high of winning nationals last year, the varsity dance team continued they winning streak by becoming state champions.


Juan Wilson

This win was especially special for the 14 seniors on the team who had been hoping for a victory for years.

As anticipation rises, the dance team huddles together at the Family Arena. The Missouri Dance Team Competition is almost finished, but the overall winner has yet to be called. The dance team’s biggest rivals, Francis Howell High School, has already won second. Finally, Fort Zumwalt West is named the overall winner, striking joy in the hearts of the dance team and their supporters. For the first time, the dance team has claimed the title of State Champion.

“This has been such a prevalent goal,” co-captain Kenzie Baucum said. “This win meant everything to the 14 [seniors] who have been with the program for so long. For a lot of us, we won’t continue competing, so it was the perfect way to end.”

After years of rivalry and disappointment, the dance team has accomplished its long-awaited goal. They placed first in hip hop and jazz, so they became the overall winner. The team has earned their Champion title through hard work and the support from parents, coaches, teachers and many others. Photographer and leader of the district’s diversity campaign, Juan Wilson, has recorded memories throughout the entire season.

“Juan has been with us every step of the way this year, making sure he captures our experiences and the passion that goes with it,” Baucum said. “The teachers, principles and Mr. Boschert have been really supportive of our program, [too].”

The dance team has worked countless hours to perfect their routines, pushing themselves farther than before. From seven-hour practices to injuries and soreness to late nights at the school, these dancers have fought their way to victory.

“It’s been a long journey, but in order to succeed, you have to put in the blood, sweat and tears, and that never comes easy,” Baucum said. “These past four years, this team has had its fair share of ups and downs, but I can’t say enough how proud I am to be a part of it.”