Central Catholic High School principal Melissa Bengston danced to four songs and hustled through four costume changes in an effort to help her students repeat as the High School Principals Spanish Lip Sync Contest state champions.
The effort has paid off, so far.
Central Catholic took first place in the second of three regional High School Principals Spanish Lip Sync Contests on Saturday night at the Modesto Centre Plaza, and the school advanced to this year's state finals.
Bengston tried to critique her and her students' performances after event organizers announced the winners, but she couldn't.
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"I don't remember what happened up there," Bengston said. "It all went so fast. And I was out in front, so I couldn't see the students behind me."
Bengston said she had her school's dance instructor and Spanish teacher help her get through mostly fast-paced songs from Tex-Mex pop-music siren Selena. The principal admitted to knowing only a little bit of Spanish.
"I tried really hard to keep up," Bengston said. "I asked our Spanish teacher help me with the meaning of the lyrics, because I need to know what I'm saying."
The judges also liked what they saw in second-place winners Waterford High School and third-place Riverbank High School.
All three, along with the top three from the Fresno-area regional held March 3 and the upcoming third regional on Saturday, will advance to the state championships March 31.
Nine high schools competed in the Fresno-area regional competition.
Modesto, Manteca and Davis high schools also competed in the regional in Modesto on Saturday.
The top three schools in each regional take home $2,500, $2,000 and $1,500 in scholarships for their Latino students.
All other schools earned $1,000 for participating.
For more about Saturday's contest, including photos of the event, read Monday's Bee.