Etcetera - 12/02/10

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The Garrison Middle School Dance Team, which was founded by coach Beth Rowlette in 2001, performed at Borleske Stadium when their eighth-grade football team won 14-0 against Pioneer Middle School during the last football game of the season in late October.

Both middle schools follow tradition by playing their final game against each other at Borleske. This way, upcoming freshman football players headed to Walla Walla High School can see what it's like playing on the big field, said Katherine Rowlette.

It was Garrison Dance Team's first experience traveling with the team and performing at the stadium, she added.

Beth received support and encouragement for her endeavor with the dance team from former principals Jim Sporleder and Laure Quaresma.

This year's team has approximately 25 girls. It's open to all sixth, seventh and eighth graders. To buy their uniforms, they hold fundraisers such as car washes, and junior cheer camps where fourth-and fifth-grade girls can learn a routine and perform with the Garrison Dance Team at half-time during a Garrison boys basketball game.

Garrison's annual Father Daughter Ball, also started by Beth, originated as a fundraiser for the team for a few years. Between 2005 and 2008, the Dance Team performed once a year, along with 300 other girls from dance teams of various schools at WSU's Halftime Extravaganza, during sold-out Cougar football games, Katherine said.

This year's team benefits from three choreographers: Lacy Rowlette, Jamie Wallingford and Lila Coleman.

The girls learn a pompon routine together, then have separate grade routines, and there's an Elite Team performance, for those with more experience or training.

A Danstics team, new this year, incorporates gymnastic fundamentals into its dance routine.

"The girls are having a lot of fun with this and it's a great way to keep them connected to their school. I'm so glad that I continue to have a supportive and enthusiastic principal (in Gina Yonts) who is as excited about this stuff as I am," Beth said.

"Getting to dance at Borleske Stadium was a great honor and privilege and a fantastic way to kick start the Dance Team season. We are looking forward to performing for our Garrison basketball team."

•••

Members of Milton-Freewater Rotary Club are gearing up for their Christmas Wreath fundraister, reported Mike Swinnerton.

He said the wreaths are on order.

They will be $20 each and available through Rotarians, including Robby Robbins, who can be reached at 541-938-6523 or robby@valint.net.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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