Dance team performs at Sugar Bowl

Published 3:39 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Abria McGee, Morgan Gilmore and Brittany Powell perform at the Allstate Sugar Bowl earlier this month in New Orleans.

Members of the Jemison High School Dance Team were among about 300 young people to perform Jan. 3 during the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s halftime show in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

JHS Dance Team adviser Tiffany Gillespie said her team received the invitation to perform at the game after acquiring numerous accolades at regional band competitions, including Best in Class 2A Division and Best in Show Silver Division at the BBVA Compass Bowl Competition in Homewood.

“It went very well,” Gillespie said of her team’s Sugar Bowl performance. “They said it was totally worthwhile—the practices, all the exhaustion and all the money saving.”

Eleven members of Jemison High's dance team made the trip to New Orleans. They were (front row) Abria McGee, Lacy Ray, Morgan Gilmore, Chaniece Hicks, Jessica Broussard, Samantha Pinon, (back row) Brittany Bryant, Heather Daniel, Brittany Powell, Katie Ellison and Amber Smith.

Gillespie said the 11 girls had to earn a total of about $14,000 for their trip, which was from New Year’s Eve until Jan. 4.

“It was that last $2,000 that was so hard to get,” she said. “After that, things relaxed a little. We had a lot of very nice people and businesses that donated money.”

Gillespie said all the performers had to audition in front of  “High School Musical” choreographer Bonnie Story, who also choreographed the halftime show routine.

“We got great placement after the audition,” Gillespie said, adding that the JHS girls were placed in the front row. “They got to take master classes and had a great experience.”

The JHS group dined at the famous Camellia Grill and saw American Idol Season One winner Kelly Clarkson perform live one night.

Gillespie said her team hopes to perform during a halftime show again someday, albeit perhaps not immediately.

“It might take us a couple years to save that kind of money again,” Gillespie said, laughing. “Give us a couple years.”

The JHS Dance Team members are Jessica Broussard, Brittany Bryant, Heather Daniel, Katie Ellison, Morgan Gilmore, Chaniece Hicks, Abria McGee, Samantha Pinon, Brittany Powell, Lacy Ray and Amber Smith.