Roughly 800 students, parents, teachers and community members from Lake Park High School in Roselle rose before dawn Monday to support the Lancettes in their bid to be named the suburbs' best dance team.
The school hosted a community pep rally to support the team, which performed live for TV crews from ABC 7 Chicago, as part of the station's "Dance Team Dance-off."
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"It's great that the community has been so supportive," said Lancettes coach Tara Kirwan, who also is a Lake Park physical education teacher.
This week, dance teams from Crystal Lake High School, Maine South High School in Park Ridge and Eisenhower High School in Blue Island also will compete with their own morning pep rallies to air on ABC.
During Lake Park's rally, cheerleaders, choirs and theater groups performed before the Lancettes' final routine.
Kirwan said she thought the girls nailed their performance, which included new choreography they've been practicing three days a week. Kirwan said the pom-style performance was a challenge for the dancers, who normally specialize in the lyrical dance genre.
"The talk today was really about how they performed and doing their best ... winning would just be an extra bonus," Kirwan said.
Viewers can vote for their favorite team from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at abc7chicago.com. The winner will be awarded a trophy, bragging rights, and a second appearance the next day on the ABC News Morning Show.
Kirwan said the team was chosen based on recommendations from TeamDance Illinois and other community members.
The Lancettes are TeamDance's defending Class AAA State Grand Champions and 16 dancers perform in all competitions.