Ella Kelley
Senior Ella Kelley, seen here performing the all-state routine during Philomath’s Dancing With the Stars competition in January, was one of just four dancers in 4A-1A to earn all-state status. (File photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Philomath High School senior Ella Kelley was one of only four dancers statewide to earn a spot on the Dance Drill Coaches Association of Oregon’s 4A-1A all-state team.

Meanwhile, the Shining Stars took first place in a competition on Saturday at Thurston. The team will now prepare for the Oregon School Activities Association state competition on March 18 at Oregon City.

The Shining Stars took first place in their division at the Thurston competition on Saturday. (Photo provided by Lori Haslam)

Joining Kelley as all-staters from 4A were Jocelyn Christison of Stayton, Olivia Gustafson of Gladstone and Sam Lockamy of Banks.

In other classifications, all-state dance team selections included 22 in 6A and eight in 5A.

To be eligible for all-state, each dancer must be recommended by their coach as meeting core dance skills, be in good standing with their school and all members of the dancer’s coaching staff must be a member of the DDCA, which has sponsored the all-state team since 2011. Only seniors are eligible to audition.

All-state auditions took place on Jan. 16 at Gresham High School.

Philomath took first place at the Thurston competition with an “excellent” rating, beating out runner-up Marshfield and third-place Woodburn. The Shining Stars have now won two competitions this season, the other coming at Sheldon. The team has finished second at the Philomath, Canby and Sprague competitions.