Gablettes & Co. take F.D.T.D.A.


“It’s personal”.

Allyssa Dobkins, Staff Writer

On Saturday, February 22nd, the Gablettes & Company competed once again; this time with slightly higher stakes. The team participated in the 13th Florida Dance Team Directors’ Association(FDTDA) against groups from all parts of Florida. While all competitions are crucial, FDTDA awarded more than just titles to the winners. Prizes included sums of money ranging from one hundred to three hundred and fifty dollars. For the Gablettes, who will be traveling to Orlando in less than two weeks, any sort of funding makes a huge difference.

The team members in Junior Varsity Kick performed first of the Gablettes around noon with Varsity Kick following shortly after. Junior Varsity Kick, also known as the “Greasers” due to their Grease Lighting theme, competed against their sole competition from last year: Lake Mary Marionettes. Once again, the Gablettes & Company prevailed. Saturday was the first time JV danced as a group. For sophomore Sarah Sanchez, who was previously injured for the State competition back in January, it felt thrilling.

“It felt reassuring to be able to complete the group once and for all, and finally get to experience competing alongside my fellow teammates,” said sophomore Sanchez.

The Legally Blonde Varsity Kick routine on the other hand was the only entry for that group size. As a result, they competed against a scale and placed first. In addition, they were given the Choreography Award by the FDTDA staff.

Less than thirty minutes later, Varsity Open was on deck. This was a very quick costume change for the dancers and required a great deal of focus to get everything done. The group was down a dancer, Nicole Vilar, due to a very painful and grueling health issue.
“It felt terrible to know my health was the reason I could not compete, but I am overjoyed that I at least was able to share the experience and achievements with them,” junior Nicole Aguirre said.

Despite the changes that came their way, the Gablettes in the Open routine managed to place second overall. This shows what you can do when you focus and rally together.

The last two routines of the day consisted of Junior Varsity Contemporary and Varsity Contemporary. Junior Varsity experienced a bouleversing song change from “Have a Little Faith in Me” to an acoustic version of the iTunes favorite “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake.

Junior Carolina Cancela, who is in charge of this routine, said that “The song really helps you connect to the movement and the emotion flow.” Finally, the last dance of the day “Hiding Under Water” performed around four in the afternoon also down a dancer. Nevertheless, they placed second place.

At around six o’clock that day, the awards ceremony took place. Besides all the individual routine awards, the Gablettes and Company also received all superior rankings for both varsity and junior varsity. In the open category, the squad placed second overall. All of this resulted in the team gaining the title as second runner up for Grand Champion of the entire competition.

“Now with NDA Nationals closely approaching, the Gablettes and Company were grateful for one last performance before hitting the Nationals stage,” said junior Claudia Perez.

The hard work and dedication that this team has put forth year-round has shown, not only at FDTDA, but ultimately will show at NDA.