Astoria dance team Pizazz

Astoria’s dance team, Pizazz.

The Astoria dance team Pizazz took second place in a competition Feb. 23 at Sprague High School, and took second in a dance-off Saturday at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, as the group gears up for state competition.

Pizazz compiled 81.18 points Saturday to finish .2 points behind Valley Catholic (81.38), making it the second time in as many dances that the Astoria team topped 80 points.

On Feb. 23, Pizazz finished with 83.45 points, just behind Stayton’s 84.03 in the Class 1A-4A division.

In the four divisions that competed (1A-4A, 5A, 6A and Show), Pizazz had the third-highest overall score.

Pizazz is comprised of eight dancers, which is small compared to the two teams that scored higher, who have triple the number of dancers, according to Emily Madsen, who coaches the team along with Caroline Wright.

The competition theme this year is “Welcome to Our Tribe,” featuring the song “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac.

The team will compete in the OSAA state championship competition March 16 at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum.

This year’s Pizazz team has just one senior — head captain Nara Van De Grift, along with junior co-captains Aliyah Grant and Liz Varner, sophomores Makenzie Brady, Isabella Clement and Skylar Sturtz, and freshmen Hope Womack and Madison Yeager.

Pizazz has won multiple state championships, the last in 2015 in the 4A small school division.

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Daily Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or

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