PHS dance team at state with trophy
The PHS Shining Stars pose for a photo with the fifth-place trophy. (Photo provided by Lori Haslam)

Philomath High’s Shining Stars finished the season on a high note with a fifth-place trophy at the 4A/3A/2A/1A Dance and Drill State Championships on Friday at Oregon City.

The PHS dancers performed their routine called “Glorious!” Veteran coach Lori Haslam said that the team wanted to perform an upbeat routine after the isolating and difficult COVID-19 pandemic that would “send a message to the audience that each one of us is glorious.”

The Shining Stars perform “Glorious!” during Friday’s state championships in Oregon City. The team place fifth. (Photo provided by Lori Haslam)

“There was not a dry eye in the gym at the end of my girls dancing because they danced from their hearts and the message was so important to them since the world is filled with such hard things right now,” Haslam said. “One of the judges came up to me after the competition was over and said that all six of the judges were in tears at the end they were so moved!

Philomath received a score of 15.02, which earned an “outstanding” rating — the second-highest offered. Valley Catholic won the state title with an 18.03 with Stayton second at 17.22, Astoria third at 16.08 and Banks fourth at 15.67. Eleven teams competed in the division.

Senior Ella Kelley earned an All-State dance scholarship. (Photo provided by Lori Haslam)

Haslam said it was a memorable experience.

“As a coach, today was one of those moments I will never forget,” Haslam said. “At the end, it was quiet in the gym and time stood still. I saw people from all over the state come together and feel an important message today — hope, individual worth and unity. Today was their day and they made it happen.”

Senior Ella Kelley, who made the All-State team, was awarded the only dance scholarship in 4A/3A/2A/1A, Haslam said.