MOSES LAKE — Auditions for the 2019-20 Molahiettes dance team are scheduled for May 17 at Moses Lake High School.
The team had a new coach in 2019, but it was the same result for the Molahiettes in state competition – they brought home a state championship.
Under the direction of new coach Jaylynn Hernandez, the team won the military dance title and finished third in state in pom routine competition. “Such a big day,” Hernandez said. “We had such a talented group of girls.” The team had the kind of talent that allowed them to translate the coach’s ideas into reality, Hernandez said.
And they got plenty of support. “At state, there were just so many parents there. It was so loud in there.”
(For those unfamiliar with dance competition, the military routines emphasize precision, while the pom competition focuses on the visual effect of the pom-poms.)
Hernandez, 22, is a Molahiette alum and 2014 graduate of MLHS, and came to the job knowing the challenges, and the demands. “I’ve been in those long hours of practice, and I totally get it,” she said.
And the Molahiettes definitely put in long hours, starting their practices the same time as the fall sports teams. They keep going through winter and spring, although they take a break over part of the summer. The Molahiettes have the early gym time, and additional practices after school on some days.
“I’ve been dancing my whole life,” Hernandez said. She’s a dance teacher along with being a Molahiettes veteran, and she was one of the candidates when former coach Lori Baker announced her retirement.
The Molahiettes have a long tradition of state and national titles, and Hernandez said she wondered “who’s going to be brave enough to step into those shoes?”
In fact she liked the idea of the challenge. Baker sent Hernandez a text message, saying she was a candidate and asking if she was interested. “I’d be lying if I said no,” Hernandez said she replied. About halfway through the season Savannah Garcia joined the team as assistant coach. She too is a Molahiettes alum.
When Hernandez got the job she started thinking about the routines and the costumes, and one competition stood out. “I was immediately thinking about state,” she said. “That was the first routine that came to my mind.”
The team was a little nervous at the start of the season, with a new coach and new routines. The first performances of the year were during MLHS football games, and that first routine ended the uncertainty. “They looked great.”
The Molahiettes finished first or second in three competitions during the season, Hernandez said. The coach was a little surprised at how fast it all happened. “I learned a lot. The year absolutely flew by.”
Traditionally the Molahiettes compete nationally as well, and although they didn’t go in 2019 Hernandez wants to be there in 2020. “So much talent. They deserve to go.”
But she liked her first year as a coach. “It was so fun. It really was. So fun.”