Canby Dance Brings Home the Gold at Category Championships

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The Canby Cougar dance team put the finishing touches on their masterful fall season Saturday, taking home first in modern and contemporary at the DDCA Category Championships at Sherwood High School.

It was the ninth time in a row that the Cougs earned the top slot in the modern category at the annual contest, which serves as the traditional finale for the fall dance season.

The team also placed second in novelty, which was the only other category in which they are competing this year.

Cougar head coach Jenn Chaffee called her team’s performances the best of the season.

“[I] could not be more proud of these dancers and how hard they have worked to get back in the game,” Chaffee said. “It’s hard to get back into competition shape after a year and a half of no competitions — but they worked hard, trained hard and didn’t give up!”

Canby is known for their historically successful dance team, which technically remains the still-reigning state champions after winning its fifth straight title in 2019 (the 2020 state finals were nixed a week before they were to be held due to Covid-19).

Now, the team is back and ready to add another banner to the rafters of the Canby gym.

The traditional season for the Dance Drill Coaches Association of Oregon kicks off January 29 with a competition in Philomath. Canby High School will host a meet on February 5 and participate in a number of contests leading up to the big day.

The state championships for 5A and 6A schools will be Saturday, March 19, at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. For Chaffee, choreographer James Healey, assistant coach Jenna Jernstrom and their team of student-athletes, it will be a contest more than two years in the making.

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