Kilgore College will host the annual Gussie Nell Davis Dance Classic this Saturday, Feb. 16, on the KC campus in honor of the memory of Davis, the Rangerettes' first director and "first lady of drill team."
The contest, run by American Dance/Drill Team School, will bring in more than 30 teams from around the region and will feature a special performance by the Kilgore College Rangerettes at 8 p.m. Competitors range from elementary to high school students. The Rangerettes and Rangerettes Forever will help with the contest throughout the day.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and performances will take place all day in Masters Gymnasium and Dodson Auditorium. Team events will be held in Masters and solo and duet performances will be in Dodson.
Following the Rangerettes' performance, the Solo Awards Ceremony will be held at 8:15 p.m. followed by the Team Awards Ceremony at 8:30 p.m. The public is invited and all proceeds from the event will benefit Rangerette scholarship funds. Admission is $8 and the public is invited. Guests 65 and older and four years and younger get in free.
According to the drill team school's Web site, more than $85,000 in Rangerette scholarship money has been generated from the event since the first classic in 1998.
The American Dance/Drill Team School was established in 1958 by Gussie Nell Davis and Dr. Irving Dreibrodt "to provide a medium for professional instruction for dance/drill teams around the United States." In 1984, Joyce and C.R. Pennington bought the company and "continued the legacy of presenting the highest quality of camps, contests and clinics available."
Joyce, a close friend of Gussie Nell Davis, was honored in 1999 as Honorary Lifetime Member of the Rangerettes Forever at the Rangerettes' 60th anniversary celebration. She has also written two volumes of books entitled, "Gussie Nell's Angels (There is a Drill Team in Heaven.)"