BENNINGTON -- With the state tournament little more than a month away, reaching the podium was key for the Burr and Burton Academy and Mount Anthony Union High School varsity dance teams.
While Middlebury was the big winner on the day with victories in the Jazz and Hip-Hop divisions, BBA was tops in the Pom division, with host Mount Anthony close behind in second.
In hip-hop, the Bennington County schools were second and third, respectively.
"They did great -- really nailed it," said MAU co-coach Erica Cummings. "They put in a lot of work. It was fun and we're proud of them."
Overall, Middlebury was No. 1 with 453 points. BBA was second with 436.5 and MAU third at 418.5. Other teams to compete included Springfield, the Burr and Burton junior varsity and Dorset's Long Trail School.
In jazz, Middlebury scored 194 points out of a possible 300 to beat Springfield.
Next in the pom, Burr and Burton Academy out-performed Mount Anthony by eight points -- 210.5 to 202.5 (out of 300 total) -- and Long Trail School's 168. It was the second year in a row that the Bulldogs were winners in the pom division.
Last but not last, five teams competed in the hip-hop division, with Middlebury taking the top spot with a routine called "Alive Around the World," scoring 259 of a possible 300 points to easily best BBA's "Lose Control" and Mount Anthony's "Turn Me On.
"It's always a tough competition to perform in front of a set of judges and an audience," said MAU co-coach Amy Thivierge. "They enjoy it. It makes us want to change things and get stronger for the next time."
Mount Anthony has two more competitions -- at Colchester and Arlington -- before the state tournament at Vergennes on February 16.
"We'll have new routines, look to make others harder ... take a look at the scores and go from there," Cummings said.