Five Events and Five Banners: The Gablettes’ Road to States

Sophie Feinberg, Editor

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On Jan. 25, the Gablettes and their director, Mo Marmesh, gathered at South Dade Senior High for the American Dance Alliance (ADA) State Championship. After long hours of competition, the team placed first overall in many categories. However, this was no easy feat; to prepare, the Gablettes trained for weeks.

“We train every day and our practices typically last between three and four hours. In our practices, we warm up, do some technique and then get straight into cleaning and perfecting our dances. We always end our practices by doing the dance we had practiced that day, up to three times in a row,” junior Gablette Eleanor Harley said.

The team took five dances to the competition and each member was a part of at least two dances. Each routine was judged by a panel of judges, and the final decision was based on the individual scores. Here are the outstanding results:

  • 1st place Small Varsity Contemporary
  • 1st place Small Varsity Open 
  • 1st place Junior Varsity Kick
  • 2nd place Varsity Kick
  • 2nd place Junior Varsity Jazz

In addition to these accomplishments, they received Best All-Around in Contemporary and Best All-Around in Open. 

“Being recognized as a state championship team was an incredible feeling. We were all very nervous about our performance beforehand but eager to show off all of our hard work. As a group, we felt very proud because we tried our best and danced for each other instead of just ourselves. After hearing the results, we were even more proud and excited because our hard work had paid off,” Harley said.

It was an especially rewarding experience for Harley, who had recently recovered from an injury.

“After being injured with a sprained ankle for almost two months, and not being able to dance, competing alongside my teammates was one of the best feelings in the world! It was a rather difficult experience, so I was more than ready to get out on the floor and dance my heart out,” Harley said.

A phrase that has regularly been associated with the team is the “five banner dream.” The Gablettes are often inspired by the banners the team has won at previous national competitions.

“[They] hang in the room as motivation,” Gablettes Director Mo Marmesh said.

This year, the team hopes to win five banners (one for each of its routines) at Nationals, and with such an excellent performance at states, the team is on its way to success.

“It feels really good and the team has worked extremely hard. [It was a] large competition, [so] to be so successful at it shows their hard work paid off,” Marmesh said.

After an exhausting and rewarding day of performances, the Gablettes left as the winners of the state championship. With one day to rest and recuperate, the team is back to preparing for the national competition, which will take place in Orlando, Florida from March 6-8, where they hope their five banner dream will come true.