Five of the six teams named grand champions Sunday at the annual Team Dance Illinois competition in Peoria come from suburban high schools.
Three of those grand champions -- Vernon Hills, Lake Zurich and Neuqua Valley high schools -- claimed their titles in the dance portion of the competition.
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Categories that fall under dance include traditional poms; open poms, which emphasizes the pom and dance elements; open dance; hip hop; lyrical; and kick, which includes no less than 50 waist-high kicks by at least half the team.
Each category had four classes ranging from 1A for the smallest schools to 4A for the largest.
Suburban schools that placed first in their class included Larkin for 3A open dance, St. Charles North for 3A lyrical dance, Wheaton North for 3A poms, Barrington for 4A open dance, Stevenson for 4A lyrical dance and Glenbard North for 4A poms.
Fremd pom coach Jane Richards brought three teams and total of 35 students to the competition Sunday. Her lyrical dance team placed seventh for 4A, and her traditional poms and kick teams both placed third.
While they were hoping for better, Richards said, all three teams went home happy.
"TDI does a great job of making the experience very positive and welcoming," she said. "It's not a vicious competitive atmosphere."
Fremd, along with Schaumburg High School, earned grand champion titles in the flag portion of the competition. Schaumburg won in the contemporary division, while Fremd claimed the title in the traditional division.
Schaumburg topped three other schools, including Mundelein and Hoffman Estates high schools, with a routine called Citrus. The performance focused on translating through body movement and props the tastes of a tart lime, sweet orange and zesty lemon, said coach Aimee Webber.
"I was ecstatic for them," Webber said. "It was a great performance for them."
"They weren't just excited for themselves, they were also excited for other teams that placed first in their division," she added.
The traditional flag grand champion is based off three categories: tall flag, short flag and lyrical flag. Fremd, aside from winning the championship, won first out of five schools for the lyrical flag.