Highland News Leader

HHS dance team, Ally Becker recognized at city council meeting

The Highland High School Dance Team was honored during the Highland City Council meeting on May 1 for their outstanding achievements during this year’s dance season and the Illinois Drill Team Association State Competition at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield. Pictured are, front row from left to right, Alana Hollenkamp, Hannah Luitjohan, Reagan Thornton, Ally Becker, Kylie McFarland, Alexis Finley; back row, coach Emily Wellen, Olivia Genteman, Kayla Davis, Katie Etter, Abigail Rogier, Mayor Joe Michaelis, Claire Pabst, Paige Foster, Brooke Wilson, Bree Etherton
The Highland High School Dance Team was honored during the Highland City Council meeting on May 1 for their outstanding achievements during this year’s dance season and the Illinois Drill Team Association State Competition at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield. Pictured are, front row from left to right, Alana Hollenkamp, Hannah Luitjohan, Reagan Thornton, Ally Becker, Kylie McFarland, Alexis Finley; back row, coach Emily Wellen, Olivia Genteman, Kayla Davis, Katie Etter, Abigail Rogier, Mayor Joe Michaelis, Claire Pabst, Paige Foster, Brooke Wilson, Bree Etherton Courtesy photo

Mayor Joe Michaelis recognized the Highland High School dance team and its senior captain Ally Becker at the Highland City Council meeting May 1, for their achievements during the recent dance season.

The team won high honors this year during the Illinois Drill Team Association State Competition at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois.

Becker was also named the 2017 Miss IDTA when she preformed a solo routine in which she received the highest score out of the whole Illinois state competition, earning a score of 298 out of 300.

Michaelis invited the team’s head coach Emily Wellen to introduce the team to the city council, after she gave a short speech listing the team’s achievements. She said that she was thankful for the recognition from the city.

“It was a really great year for the team,” Wellen said. “It was a very, very successful year for everyone.”

Wellen also said that because the team wins so often — the team has won over 30 state championship titles — it makes their accomplishments seem common place whenever the team succeeds. However, she said that winning a lot does not change the fact that it is never easy to succeed.

IHSA accomplishments

The dance team has achieved the following from the Illinois High School Association:

▪ 2017 IHSA State Champions Class 1A Competitive Dance

▪ First IHSA Class IA Dance Team to win back-to-back state championships in 2016 and 2017

▪ HHS varsity dance team has been the only team in the state to have an IHSA podium finish every year since the beginning of the IHSA Dance category, including three first place finishes

▪ HHS varsity dance is the only sport in the history of HHS to hold three or more IHSA state championship titles

▪ Five consecutive IHSA state sectional wins

IDTA accomplishments

The dance team has achieved the following from the Illinois Drill Team Association:

▪ 2017 IDTA Jazz State Champions

▪ 2017 IDTA Lyrical State Champions

▪ 2017 IDTA Pom Dance State Champions

▪ 2017 overall high score in the jazz category

▪ 2017 IDTA State Grand Champions

▪ 2017 Miss IDTA

▪ HHS varsity dance team holds 34 IDTA state championship titles

▪ HHS varsity dance team has had 11 consecutive years of winning all three dance categories at the IDTA state finals

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