St. Michael's High School

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Pony Express

The twenty-six time state champions Pony Express is made up of girls in grades  7th grade to 12th. They regularly entertain crowds at half-time during football and basketball games for all ages to enjoy. They also compete at the State and National level. 

 

In June 2015, Coach Lydia Sanchez (SMHS class ’80) was awarded Coach of the Year by the New Mexico Coaches Association. Her leadership and dedication takes her into her 28th year of coaching Pony Express. Beverly Averitt (former SMHS teacher) was the team’s first dance coach; they celebrated their first New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) Title in 1978.  Coach Lydia was a member of three State Championship Dance Teams (1978, 1979, and 1980).  The team currently has 24 NMAA State Titles. 

 

The Pony Express Team competes in various local and out of state competitions (ADA, NDA, NMAA and UDA): Cleveland Challenge, Demon Throw Down, Land of Enchantment Regional’s and Santa Fe Dance Festival (hosted by SMHS) to name a few. The team competes at the National Level, earning a National Title (1998), as well as National Top Five rankings, National Top Ten rankings, and National Top Twenty Rankings. 

 

 After many years of practices held in the school lobby, cafeteria, empty classrooms, and the school's gyms, the team now has a place to call their own. On October 10, 2015 the team celebrated a Blessing and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to their new dance studio.  They were honored to have Father Adam Ortega perform the Blessing. The dance studio was dedicated in memory of a past dancer, Virginia Holmes (Class of ’86). 

 

Partaking in the Pony Express Dance Team provides life lessons, lifetime friendships and cherished high school memories.  Many former dancers have gone on to dance at the college level, as well as professionally with the Denver Nuggets, the Trisha Brown Dance Company and Maria Benitez Dance Company to name a few. The girls provide excellence not only on the dance floor but in their school academics. 

State Titles
1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
 
Best In Category,  Pom-Pon
1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
 
Jazz/Dance/Military
1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
 
Numerous top-ten National finishes 
Spirit Programming at St. Michael's  includes the Dance and Cheer teams. 
Lydia Sanchez '80 is the Head of the Spirit Program and the Head Dance Coach. 
Cullen Monaco '15 and Crista Palermo '15 coach the Cheerleading team under the direction of Lydia Sanchez.