The three Highland School District dance teams combined to bring home eight trophies from their first Illinois Drill Team Association competition of the season Saturday at the Belleville East Regional.
The Highland High School varsity dance team garnered first place in three categories and second place in another, while the HHS junior varsity and the Highland Middle School dance squads captured first place in two categories apiece.
“It was a great day for the Highland dance team programs yesterday,” HHS varsity dance coach Emily Wellen said.
The HHS varsity dance team won first place in the IHSA dance category, as well as the AA Jazz and AA Lyrical categories, and earned second place in AA Pom Dance.
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In addition, senior co-captain Abigail Rogier was honored with a IDTA Rising Star Award.
“With this being our first IDTA competition of the season, I think we did a great job,” Wellen said. “The girls performed very strong, and we know what we need to fix for the future. We still have a lot of season ahead of us, and we received great comments on our routines to make them even better. If yesterday is any indication how the rest of our season will go, it is very bright. I’m looking forward to the girls keeping up their hard work and our routines continuing to grow and getting stronger at every competition.”
Rogier said it was a very good first IDTA competition.
“We all felt amazing after this first IDTA competition, because we regained confidence in our team,” Rogier said. “We are so excited to continue working towards bigger and better things in this season.”
Rogier is joined by senior co-captains Kayla Davis, Katie Etter and Olivia Genteman.
Genteman said as one of the four captains, it was a great first competition to really show what is to come for the Highland dance team this year.
“I am so proud on how we, as a team, did and can’t wait until next competition to take the floor,” Genteman said. “We are pushing ourselves harder than ever and continue to strive for hopes of great things later in the season.”
“We all had so much fun at the competition,” Davis said. “As always though, we have areas in each routine that we can improve, but our confidence was really boosted after each performance.”
Highland’s JV team got first place in the JV Lyrical and the JV Jazz categories, while the HMS squad received first place in the Junior High Jazz and the Junior High Lyrical categories.
Additionally, HMS dancer Julia Synder received a IDTA Rising Star Award for her efforts.
The HHS varsity dance team consists of Kayla Davis, Bree Etherton, Katie Etter, Alexis Finely, Paige Foster, Olivia Genteman, Kylie McFarland, Abbey Mortland, Claire Pabst, Abigail Rogier Tatum Stock and Brooke Wilson.
The HHS junior varsity dance team is composed of Brianne Barbee, Tegan Beard, Lily Jakel, Shelby Stallard, Riley Stewart and Jessie Wieter.
The HMS dance team is made up of Kaleigh Casper, Paige Crawford, Mackenzie Daiber, Kate Drueke, Nevaeh Fensterman, Michayla Grieve, Reaghan Henrichs, Isabelle Hodge, Lacey Schroeder and Julia Synder.