Competition season began with a bang and a case full of awards for the Waxahachie High Cherokee Charmers.

The squad left the American Dance and Drill Team DFW Winter Spectacular awards ceremony Saturday evening at Mansfield High School with 12 total honors.

The WHS Cherokee Charmers competed against the Cedar Hill High Highsteppers and the Mansfield High Gold Dusters in the Small/Medium Team category, while the Charmer Elite squad was the lone public school in Elite Team category.

Both Waxahachie squads are under the direction of Erica Wilcox and Jessica Ramirez.

Wilcox was awarded the CC Dancewear Outstanding Director award following the competition, while the entire Charmer group received the Get Poms Giving Back Award for their work filling stockings at the Texas Baptist Home and Remedy Church over the Christmas holiday season.

The Charmers also placed second in the American Academic Champions award, sponsored by Cicci's Dancewear, with a 3.11 cumulative GPA. The Bishop Dunne High School Falconettes took top honors with a 3.79 GPA.

In addition, the Charmers also received awards for:

—Officer sweepstakes

—Judges award for Officer Jazz

—Gold Best Overall for presentation, choreography and precision

—First runner-up Small/Medium Division Best In Class Officers

—Third place Best of the Best Officers

—Elite Team Sweepstakes

—Judges Award for hip-hop (Showstoppers)

—Silver Best Overall for presentation and choreography

—Best-In-Class Elite Team

Other categories in the DFW Winter Spectacular included Elementary, Intermediate, Junior Private, Senior Private and Extra Small Teams.

According to the rules posted to, high school teams must perform with at least 70 percent of the members listed on the roster, meaning at least 70 percent "must be visibly dancing and participating in the routine." Teams in the Elite division do not follow the same criteria.

Teams are evaluated and placed into one of three classifications for each category entered — Division III (points 70-79 points), Division II (points 80-89) or Division I rating (Division I 90-100). A sweepstakes award is then presented to a team that enters a minimum of three team events and receives a Division I-ranking in at least three of those events.

"Teams entered in at least three team categories, and receiving a 93 or above from each judge, will receive the coveted Gussie Nell Davis Award of Excellence," the ADDT rules read.

The Cherokee Charmers return to the competition stage Saturday in the Crowd Pleasers Dance Fort Worth Showcase held at Burleson Centennial, located at 201 S Hurst Rd in Burleson.

Admission for Saturday is $12 for adults and $5 for senior citizens or students five years old and up.


Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith

(469) 517-1470