Former Strutter joins World Famous Rangerettes
Saturday, former Bridge City Strutter Captain Hannah Dunahoe learned that she was accepted to the famous Kilgore College Rangerettes.
The Rangerettes were the first of their kind when they began in 1940 as a vision of the late Gussie Nell Davis. Their high kicks rivaled the New York Rockettes. Considered the best in the world by many, they originated the precision dance moves that are imitated by modern day drill / dance teams.
The daughter of Tammy and Terry Dunahoe of Bridge City will be joined by two other Golden Triangle girls on Aug. 15. Lumberton’s Lauren Summers and Nederland’s Taylor Becnel also made the cut after a grueling week of tryouts. Duhahoe is the granddaughter of Patsy and the late Burt Dunahoe of Bridge City and J.B. and Joyce Matlock of Palestine.
It all started with a social, so the girls could get to know each other. “It was casual, but we were still all nervous,” said Dunahoe of her first impressions. They also had to go through and interview process and learn all the rules and regulations. “My lady was nice,” said Dunahoe of her interviewer. “ I was glad of that.”
During the tryouts, ”… we had to have our hair slicked back, no make-up and red lips … so they could see your smile … we had to smile all the time.”
The 18-year-old was a Strutter all four years of high school, spending her senior year as captain. She had never heard of the Rangerettes until high school, where she learned that Strutters’ Director Cathy Riley was a former Rangerette. “I had been debating my entire senior year [to audition],” Dunahoe said.
It was after talks to all of the Strutter’s by Riley and Jane Busby, the assistant director talked singly with Dunahoe. “They told me not to be afraid to give up a scholarship if it wasn’t what I really wanted.” Dunahoe said she still had a passion for dance and didn’t want to stop. “She (Riley) inspired me.”
“I’m gonna do it, I decided,” Dunahoe said, “and I decided to go for it … I would have no regrets … if I did or didn’t make it.
“God would put me where ever he wants me.”
She said of the Rangerettes, “They’re the best of the best and they love what they’re doing.”
She also credits Kayla Kenney, 2005 Bridge City graduate, the freshmen Dunahoe’s Strutter captain and former Rangerette, with helping her prepare for tryouts. “She helped with technique [and] tryout procedure,” said Dunahoe, who in high school got to see the Rangerettes in action at the Cotton Bowl.
Hannah’s grandmother Patsy Dunahoe said, “She’s been bouncing all over … ever since she was big enough to walk … she is really good … an excellent student.”
After her two years at Kilgore College, Dunahoe hopes to return home and continue her education at Lamar.
She plans to study communication disorders and American sign language. “I want to become fluent in that,” she said. At the moment she aspires to be an audiologist or a speech pathologist.