Dance Team Shake Up

GHS Dance Team demoted to 2nd place after scoring error.


Photo by Freya Wiedemann

In a gym packed with screaming fans, high school dance teams from all over the city competed to see who is the best. During the annual Bubblin’ Brown Sugar dance competition, groups from Garfield, Franklin, Cleveland, and other Seattle high schools flaunted their dance skills at the showcase.The Garfield dancers were handed a trophy and announced as the first place winners to the entire crowd of spectators.
“It was an amazing feeling to be recognized in front of so many people,” Izzy Maschmedt, senior captain, said.
Due to an error in the scoring, the Cleveland team came to collect their trophy on Monday. “It was a really hard thing to come back to school and defend ourselves and our pride,” third year Garfield coach Kisha Vaughan said.
In the three years of the competitions existence there has yet to be a scoring error like this.
“Apparently one judge thought it was out of five [points] instead of ten,” Coach Vaughan said. This error led to a recount and an attempt at rescoring the performance after the fact. “I feel like [that judge’s] scores should have been thrown out.”
The scoring system for an event like this depends on the perceptions of the judges. According to the 2017 judging rubric 35 points are given to assess the routine as a whole, focusing on choreography. Another 35 are focused on technique. Costumes and overall presentation skills are 25 points. The rubric allows for 5 points based on the judges’ perceptions of the crowd.
Bubblin’ Brown Sugar has been a recurring event in the Central District’s history over the past 40 years. Run by the non-profit 100 Black Parents the competition helps fund engagement activities in the community, according to the competition’s website. Recently coming back from a hiatus in 2016 Garfield has not failed to set themselves apart from the competition.
“Last year we won which was an amazing thing. We were hoping to do it again this year,” Izzy said.
The Garfield team performed choreography that showcased multiple styles of dance from the Caribbean as well as modern dance. They were dressed to portray different Disney princess, even coming out of a carriage to begin their performance. With a full house and a home field advantage, the Garfield dance team was not lacking in spectator involvement.
“We went in with our hearts and our hopes and performed the best we could have in that space,” Vaughan said.
The competition between Garfield and Cleveland has already been fierce over the years, but has grown in light of the most recent competition season. “Next year we hope to compete more and see where we level up against the other teams,” Vaughan said.
Despite this complication, the Garfield dance team is excited for the next round of competitions and are working hard to reclaim that trophy.
“These girls have a lot of heart and genuine connection,” Vaughan said. “They take pride in what they do and want to see this program grow.”