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Back-to-back state titles for Francis Howell High’s Golden Girls

By: Ellen Lampe


The Francis Howell High Golden Girls were crowned state champions at the Missouri Dance Team Association State Competition – their sixth state championship title in the last nine years.

The Francis Howell High Golden Girls dance team has again been crowned state champions at the Missouri Dance Team Association State Competition. This is the third time in the last four years that the team has won the Class 6 State Championship, and the sixth state championship title in the last nine years for the dance dynasty.

The athletes overcame challenges early in the season and pulled together to come out on top. After disappointing finishes in their first two competitions of the year, Coach Courtney Kassabaum and the members of the team decided to update their dance routines.

“Our season did not start out how we expected. We did not place as we had hoped in our local competitions and knew that we needed to make changes to our dances in order to get the results we hoped for,” said Kassabaum.

After changing the choreography of the jazz and hip-hop routines, the girls had to work hard to ensure that every turn, spin and step was in sync and ready for the next competition.

“After those changes were made, the dances completely changed and the girls had to work harder than ever,” said Kassabaum.

“We fought for each other and worked hard for each other, not just our own personal benefits,” said Madison Osborne, Francis Howell High senior and a captain of the team. “We have learned how to push ourselves through the tough times – mentally and physically.”

To help keep morale high, the dancers came up with a motto to motivate and support them through the rough patches. They challenged themselves that, “No Matter What,” they would give everything they had on the dance floor.

“They knew that becoming back-to-back champions was not going to be easy. They wanted to show everyone that they could do it, and that’s exactly what they did!” said Kassabaum.

At the state level, the Golden Girls took first place for their Lyrical Jazz and Hip-Hop performances, which secured their position at the top as the 2018 Overall State Champion.

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