KILGORE — Dozens of young women are in Kilgore training, practicing and hoping for a spot on the 80th line of the world-famous Kilgore College Rangerettes.
‘Rette tryouts are taking place today, and hopefuls have been practicing in pretraining rehearsals throughout the week.
“They’re going great,” Rangerette Director Dana Blair said Monday.
“It’s always a tough, competitive tryout. We have 91 girls for 30-something spots. We have no set number that we’re taking, but probably in the 30s.”
Rehearsals take place in the Deana Bolton-Covin Rangerette Gymnasium on the Kilgore College campus and, earlier this week, young women were practicing dance moves, high-kicks and exercises to ready themselves for the selective tryout process.
While the Rangerettes are often recognized for their traditional kick routines, hopefuls learn new moves and routines each year during tryouts.
“It’s a whole new high-kick, new combinations. We teach the traditional things, but we don’t really do that during tryouts. They’re going to learn all new things,” Blair said.
Hopefuls have come from Texas and beyond to give their all for a spot on the line.
Three of the young women traveled from out-of-state: Florida, New Mexico and Arkansas.
This year’s hopefuls are showing the same kind of spirit and determination as those from previous years, according to Blair.
“It’s the same: very hard-working, very dedicated, prepared young ladies that have shown up for tryouts,” she said.
With a short time to learn the new routines, candidates must work hard to prepare for tryouts at 8 a.m. today, when they will dance in groups of four.
Those who made the cut will find out about their new spot on the line at the “Sign Drop” at 10 a.m. Friday in Dodson Auditorium.
The names of the new Rangerettes will be displayed on a sign lowered over the stage.
The 2019-20 line selection is especially historic: in 2020, the Rangerettes will mark 80 years since teacher and drill team director Gussie Nell Davis first created the iconic Kilgore College dance team.