2024 SA Class Finalist Review

2024 SA Class Finalist Review

By: Emily Ward

Congratulations to all of our 2024 Scholastic A class finalists!  Review their productions below in order of Finals placement.

1st - Arlington HS (NY) (97.995)

Gold benches and a gold, dual-sided scale decorate the floor of Arlington High School as they take the stage to perform their 2024 show, Lizzie Their show is about a woman who is rumored to have killed and hurt many people, including her own mother. These athletes tell her story while those who knew Lizzie try to decide if she is guilty or not. Following the team’s rifle feature, they go straight into a stunning flag feature that leaves audience members screaming with excitement. Moving onto rifle and gold sabres, dancers grab hold of fake axes, slicing over the heads of their rifle partner between their toss. The show ends with the majority of the team pulling down one side of the scale, implying they believe Lizzie is guilty. A soloist portraying Lizzie herself then pulls down the other side of the scale, symbolizing that Lizzie was in fact not guilty of the crime. 

2nd - Lockport Township HS (96.210)

Right out of the gate, audience members can tell that they are about to witness a haunting show from Lockport Township High School. The guard’s 2024 show entitled, For Daylight, uses large props with maroon curtains, resembling that of a window. Athletes wear gray uniforms with their hair colored gray and makeup to make them appear deceased. Four sabres pop out from behind the window props, releasing solid tosses to truly start their show. Later on in their program, dancers place velvet, maroon fabric on the shoulders of their rifle partners, giving the weapons the opportunity to pull the fabric from their body in the middle of their toss. For their flag feature, athletes stun the audience by entering with flags made out of newspapers which they then rip off the flag, revealing a beautiful silk of yellow, representing the daylight they are searching for. The show ends with the team ripping off the paper covering up the windows, showing, yet again, a fabric of pure yellow.

3rd - Holly Springs HS (95.505)

Taking the stage in blue and white uniforms detailed with lace, performers from Holly Springs High School lined up in two parallel lines across the floor from each other to begin their 2024 show, A Small Light. While the opening dance takes place, a flag soloist moves onto the large platform on the back of their floor, showing off the talent of this program’s athletes. As the tempo of the music changes, spinners pick up the pace for an ensemble rifle feature that ends with an exchange toss from two athletes, before they fall to the ground with the rest of the team. Transitioning into a captivating flag feature, athletes strip their flags to create a dramatic moment where they open all together to reveal beautiful yellow silks, symbolizing finding light at the end of a dark path. This team uses their facial expressions to tell every part of their story, moving from a stoic look in the beginning to one of joy by the end.

4th - Amador Valley HS (95.290)

Amador Valley High School takes their floor of pink roses in a field of dirt to begin their 2024 program entitled, Remember Me. Beginning their show with a peaceful ensemble movement section that matches their music, this team brings a sense of serenity to the arena. Dancers work together to accomplish multiple stunning lifts, as the flag line spins effortlessly around them. To transition a couple of the team’s sabres onto rifles, dancers place their rifles beneath their sabre partners, so they can be picked up, once the sabres are tossed over the heads of their original spinners to the two dancers. Closing out their stunning show, the group spins flags with red roses pictured on them, creating one finally peaceful moment for the audience before their show concluded.

5th - Bartram Trail HS (93.455)

Standing against the back of the floor in first position, Bartram Trail High School begins their 2024 program, Perseverance. Athletes move around the floor to get into dance and sabre partners. Two of the sabres then release a toss while walking, proving how much control these athletes have over their equipment. Following a stunning rifle feature, the team moves into flag, picking up their poles from the sides of the floor in a ripple. Moving in an airy fashion, the team performs incredibly difficult skills, ending on cone toss with a turn underneath, catching on their knees. Further showing these athletes are very technically trained, the whole guard transitions to another rifle where every athlete successfully tosses and catches multiple tosses across the floor. The team received a standing ovation from audience members for the effortless skills presented throughout their enter show.

6th - Lexington HS (92.735)

Athletes from Lexington High School begin their 2024 program, In the Nick of Time, by rippling out of a red box on the back of the stage. As four dancers first take the floor, four rifles follow them out, each tossing a speciality toss, ending on a release with a double turn around underneath it. As their performance goes on, there is a clock on the top, left corner of the stage, ticking down for four minutes and twenty seconds. They also have thin, red blocks lining the center of their floor to create a small maze-like structure. Performers spin throughout the insides of these makeshift lines, showing the audience how special aware and technically trained this group is. With only two seconds remaining on the ticking clock, a dancer is able to pull the wires free, ending the countdown and concluding their thrilling performance.

7th - Mt. Vernon HS (Fortville) (92.590)

Performers from Mt. Vernon High School struggles with Gravity against black props, trying to break free of the confinement told by the story. As the struggling ends, they pick up rifles and begin their choreography which leads to an ensemble toss caught by each of the rifles before they drop to their knees with their dancer counterparts. Once they’ve stood up, the rifles flip the props down to become ramps, using them to do speciality tosses, one of which involves an athlete sliding from one side of the prop to the other between the release and catch of the toss. A rock in the front corner of the floor hides the team’s first flag who surprises audiences when they toss the flag over the top of the pop, running to the other side to catch it. The flag hit ends on a group 45 with a slide underneath it. These athletes move like they are defying gravity, floating through each step of the show. 

8th - Adlai E. Stevenson HS (92.265)

Beginning their show, I’ll Be Your Ladder on an all black floor and in black uniforms with gold detailing on the back, an athlete from Adlai E. Stevenson HS holds up a wooden ladder that another performer walks along the backs of to get to. This ladder is then run across the floor by two dancers, allowing for the program’s rifle line to toss over it. The ladder is an essential part of the show, as it is used once more for an athlete to climb up at the back of the floor to show off a sabre to the audience. Their beautiful flag feature sent the audience into silence, as they stared in awe at the beautiful timing and choreography competed by the team on metallic, gold silks. This team truly works together to move as one throughout their entire show, blending completely together with ease. These athletes really are each other’s ladder, moving with one another through all stages of life.

9th - Grand Oaks HS (91.830)

Standing on a giant black prop in the shape of a sheep, performers from Grand Oak High School lift one of their teammates into the air, striking their opening poses for their 2024 show, Black Sheep. Opening for the group’s rifle line, an athlete stands on top of the sheep prop, releasing a beautiful toss caught solidly at port. Transtitioing into the team’s flag feature, an athlete tosses the first five spinners their flags, all in different ways, showing the accuracy and multi-talents of these performers. Moving into the first portion of their flag hit, athletes spread out onto the floor, each standing on one of the white sheeps depicted on their floor. This team proves the importance of flag lines to a show, as their entire show features flags. To end their show, a soloist removes the black costume the whole team starts the show in, revealing an entirely white costume beneath, showing that they are no longer, as their show title says, black sheep.

10th - Lafayette HS (KY) (90.390)

Shimmering in light blue and white uniforms, performers from Lafayette High School (Kentucky) get into a clumped formation in the center of the floor, staking athletes on the shoulders of others to create a scene of melting ice to go along with their 2024 show title, The Great Melt. The group’s rifle line shows off their basics with an ensemble set of double time before going into a set of tosses. A ripple rifle toss then leads to the last performer in the line switching to sabre, giving the rest of the team a chance to grab hold of the floor and pull it from half way open to the regular length of a floor. Moving to the corner of the floor, athletes circle up to get equipment for the next section of their show. An athlete outside of the circle does a headspring, landing just in time to catch a rifle being tossed out of the circle. The show’s flag hit ends in a toss that the performers catch, then melt to the ground, giving the audience one last reminder of their program title. 

11th - Azle HS (89.850)

Stepping onto the floor to perform their 2024 show, Bridge, in flowy uniforms of all white, performers from Azle High School set up three props with a rainbow-colored window on them and two long, marble rectangular props that lay along the floor. One of the platforms is lifted up as a sabre completes a toss on top of it. Flags enter the floor on blue silks that match the team’s floor, sending a set of crosstosses into the air. A flag soloist stuns audience members with a beautiful 45 toss, sliding onto the ground and catching the pole with one hand. Rifles and flags later team up before the flag feature begins to exchange equipment, allowing for the rifles to toss the flags back to their original spinner only using one hand. The show ends with all the athletes gathered on the white props in front of the window backgrounds, representing how they will always be a bridge for each other.

12th - Creekview HS (GA) (88.205)

Creekview High School starts their haunting 2024 show, Memory Eternal, with one athlete covered in a long, green cloak at the front of the floor. The athlete then removes the cloak, revealing a sparkly, tan unitard that matches that of a feature dancer who appears from behind one of the group’s five tall, gold pillars. Throughout the beginning of their show, athletes roll out the team’s actual floor, allowing a bright color into an otherwise dark show. To perform their flag feature, the team moves to the very front of the floor, putting themselves eye level with the audience. Toward the end of the show, the floor begins to be rolled back up as the solo dancer tries to decide whether or not to put back on the cloak or not. Concluding their show, the dance soloist is layed down behind the rolled up floor by a cloaked figure, symbolizing that they have been forgotten.

13th - Yukon HS (88.105)

Yukon High School begins setting up their 2024 program, Ordinary People, lining their all black floor with thin pieces of white signs laying flat throughout their floor. Opening their show with a movement piece, athletes pick up four of the signs from the ground, revealing the other side to be covered in colorful words such as, “giver, lover, worker, fighter.” Twirling across the floor in their light blue uniforms, athletes pick up flags and rifles, while some remain on their dance line. Moving into their flag feature, each athlete stands up the sign closest to them, revealing their flag silks to match that of their unique signs. The spread out positioning of the team and the emotions portrayed on the performer’s faces really establish the storyline that all people may appear to be different, but underneath it all, we are all just ordinary people.

14Th - Kettering Fairmont HS (87.570)

Performers from Kettering Fairmont High School have their chins lifted high as they move their right hands in shard, clock-like motions to match the clockwork designs shown on their floor. Moving further into their show, the team splits into rifle and flag lines, with the flags spinning beautiful ombre blue silks and rifles doing synchronized double time. The rifles then put down their weapons, entering into the first part of the team’s flag hit. Following their first hit, the team picks up a new, yellow silk with clocks on it, adding a beautiful splash of color to close out the show. In the final moments of their 2024 show, Heals All Wounds, the team surrounds a flag soloist in a circle, giving the performer a chance to throw a one handed 45 with a turn under it before the catch.

15th - Blue Springs South HS Varsity (86.320)

Blue Springs South High School Varsity opens with a beautiful dance feature, surrounding a picture frame where another athlete waits to take the floor on flag in their 2024 production, The Girl with the Pearl Earring. To match their show’s name, the team has a piece of tan fabric over their hair, so that only their pearl earrings can be seen by the audience. A group of rifles toss fives with body underneath them, while a rifle soloist waits their turn to release a toss where they arch their back, touching the ground in a one-handed backbend, before catching the toss. During their flag feature, the team does an ensemble crosstoss, audibly exhaling on the release. With only instrumental playing as their music, this team uses their breath to really draw in audience members. They end their show with an athlete standing in the center of the picture frame, wrapped in a blue piece of fabric, embodying the girl with the pearl earring.

16th - Reeths-Puffer HS (85.550)

With a colorful floor in the shape of an oval, Reeths-Puffer High School’s performers spread to the outsides of their floor to begin their 2024 program, We Can Be Heroes. Opening with a beautiful sabre toss caught with one hand and a sequential weapon toss over a performer being lifted into the air, these performers show the audience the talent they possess. Sad facial expressions fill the faces of athletes as they tell their story about people wanting change, but not realizing that it is all just a fantasy that needs to be stopped to solve real-world problems. The team ends their meaningful performance by one athlete tossing their flag over the backs of the rest of the team, having the toss caught by a performer on the other side. That flag is then held up into the air as a symbol that justice in the world will be sought. 

17th - Salem HS (85.400)

Matching their music about how everyone wants to be the best and competitive, just with a variety of different things, Salem High School’s performers all wear different numbers on their uniforms and complete unique choreography. The team does partnerwork between flags and dancers, transitioning into sabre, where a soloist tosses a hilt toss with a turning double attitude jump before their catch. The team then moves to rifle, where the athletes work together to pick each other up and put each other back down on the ground, symbolizing the competitive nature that their show is titled around, The Heart of a Competitor. By the end of their flag feature, one flag sends their equipment partly to another performer, catching the toss together, showing the audience that we don’t always have to compete against each other and that we can work as a team, since at the end of the day a placement or trophy does not define you.

18th - Great Oak HS Varsity (84.905)

Paper airplanes are held in the hands of the performers from Great Oak High School Varsity as they start their 2024 program, Fly to Your Heart. Spinning beautiful sabres decorated at the hilt in blue tape to match the team’s floor, eight sabres throw a set of solid tosses before moving into partnerwork with the flag line. Each piece of equipment truly gets their own moment to shine as groups transition between which group is at the center of the floor. Rifle work takes over the stage as every athlete picks up a gun to do rippled choreography and a group quad at the end. Featured rifles are then presented with a moment to do a turn around under their higher tosses. The team concludes their performance by flying into their flag feature with ease.

19th - Union HS (84.325)

Union High School begins their 2024 program entitled Mantra, wearing all teal, flowy uniforms in a circle at the center of their floor. The team then shifts into their sabre feature, having their featured spinner stand on a purple mat in the very center of the floor to maze audiences with technically perfect tosses. Flags of green, pink and blue are added into the mix, spinning with grace, next to the weapon line. Before beginning their ensemble flag hit, rifles and flags share the floor, giving each set of performers their own moment to shine, while still creating layers in their choreography and equipment used. They end their show by lifting one of the athletes up into the air while the soloist sits on the mat at the center of their floor.

20th - Corinth Holders HS (84.215)

An athlete performs a beautiful cartwheel over a bench in the corner of the team’s solid black floor as Corinth Holders High School takes the floor to perform their 2024 program, Where There is Darkness, Let There Be Light. Stunning dance and sabre partner work draw in audience members within the first few tosses. This team is extremely consistent with their tosses and technique, which is shown by the wide variety of skills competed and caught with ease. To start the team’s flag feature, pairs of flags do cone exchange tosses, wowing the crowd. One soloist tosses her flag into the air, completing a fast front walkover underneath it before catching it. The team ends their show with two dancers sitting together on the bench, hugging one another.