The Highland High School varsity dance team’s day at the IDTA (Illinios Drill Team Association) Belleville East Regional Competition on Saturday was not only a great way to start the New Year, but it was about as close to perfect as could be hoped.
The Lady Bulldogs won first place with all five of their routines, including receiving the top two highest scores of the entire day.
Highland’s Lyrical/Contemporary routine was not only the best in its category, but it was the overall highest scoring routine of day after receiving an amazing 92.9 points out of a possible100.
The Lady Bulldogs’ Jazz routine was the second highest scoring routine of the overall contest after receiving 90.1 points out of 100.
Highland also captured first place in the IHSA category as well as Pom Dance and Hip Hop categories, and all four of HHS’ relevant routines qualified for the IDTA State Finals to be held Feb. 13 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Ill.
Additionally, Highland senior McKenzie Rosen received the Rising Star Award, which is presented to performers with outstanding showmanship, execution and enthusiasm.
The Highland Middle School dance team also had a banner day as both of the Lady Bullpups’ routines — Jazz and Pom Dance — took first place and both also qualified for the IDTA State Finals.
“Both teams gave up their winter break to practice and prepare for this competition,” said Highland varsity dance coach Michelle Deets. “It is because of this dedication and commitment that our program is so successful. At every competition, our teams look better and better, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The HHS varsity dance team, which is coached by Deets and Emily Wellen, consists of Ally Becker, Kayla Davis, Leslie Drueke, Katie Etter, Paige Foster, Olivia Genteman, Lexy Hagler, Kelsey Lane, Hannah Luitjohan, Raven Miranda, Claire Pabst, Abigail Rogier, McKenzie Rosen, Reagan Thornton and Brooke Wilson.
The HMS dance team, which is coached by Erin Cotto, is made up of Tegan Beard, Madysen Castile, Paige Crawford, Kate Drueke, Bree Etherton, Alexis Finley, Kylie Jakel, Kylie McFarland, Abbey Mortland, Shelby Stallard, Riley Stewart and Tatum Stock.