The Highland High School dance teams stared the season in the best possible way at the Yvonne Cole Invitational Saturday at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis.
The HHS varsity dance team brought one routine, lyrical, to Lindbergh this year and captured first place with it in its initial competition of the season.
The HHS junior varsity team received first place in both routines — lyrical and jazz —they brought to the competition.
“It was truly a great way for both teams to start a great season. We still have a lot of work to do but this definitely shows us we are heading in the right direction,” Highland varsity coach Emily Wellen said.
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This year’s varsity dance captains are Kayla Davis, Katie Etter, Abigail Rogier and Olivia Genteman.
“Overall, I’m very proud of my team,” Davis said. “This year we have challenged ourselves with some of the most difficult routines. So in order to be just as successful as in past years, we must work even harder to build our strength and stamina. Luckily, though our tough practices leading up to this competition has paid off and we beat many Missouri teams, we usually wouldn’t get the chance to compete against being from Illinois. Of course, the routine isn’t perfect yet and mistakes were made throughout the dance, but we now know what we need to fix and work on for our next competition. I know we are all excited to see how the rest of the season will go.”
Wellen said she is so proud of how both the JV and varsity teams placed at the Lindbergh competition.
The JV’s lyrical routine, which was choreographed by former HHS standout Kelly Fulton, also received an outstanding choreography award.
“I think my team did very well,” HHS JV coach Kassie Elliot said. “For this being our first competition, we placed first in jazz, first in lyrical and received judges award for outstanding choreography in lyrical. I couldn’t be more proud of my team and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for us.”
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 consists of Brianne Barbee, Tegan Beard, Lily Jakel, Shelby Stallard, Riley Stewart and Jessie Wieter.