Bailey Sanderford, head captain of Stephenville High School’s Stingerettes, traveled to Houston recently to represent the school as a member of the 2019 All-State Drill Team during the annual Texas Dance Educators Association Convention.

Sanderford went by invitation to the 2019 event, which celebrated the TDEA’s 40th anniversary and was held Jan. 16-18 at the Houston Marriott Marquis.

“Being a part of the 40th anniversary All-State dance team was such an honor and so refreshing,” said Sanderford, a senior at SHS. “I truly enjoyed getting to see a dance for 249 people come together in just one day. I also loved growing close to new friends who share a love of dance with me. My experiences at convention will not soon be forgotten.”

The All-State Drill Team is comprised of dancers representing schools across the state of Texas, and only one student per school can be awarded all-state recognition. All-state members must be an upperclassman and are expected to exemplify the highest qualities of a team leader as well as demonstrate proficiency in ballet, modern and jazz dance technique.

“I am very proud of how well Bailey represented Stephenville,” Stingerettes Director Kimberly Kelsey said. “She’s an awesome young lady and is responsible for much of our Sting team success. She’s very deserving of this recognition and it was wonderful to see her dance alongside so many other talented students in such a professionally coordinated presentation.”

The three-day convention included workshops, leadership training, a college dance fair and performance showcase.

The All-State Drill Team gives a performance, which is choreographed by the TDEA’s guest choreographer this year, master teacher Carrie Sellars. The dancers learned the routine during the 15-plus hours of rehearsal while at the convention, and they perform for their directors, collegiate dancers and coaches and TDEA staff and guests.

The all-state dancers are also invited to apply for scholarships that are awarded each year by the TDEA at the convention.