Submitted by Andrea Malec
The Libertyville High School Dance Team took second and fifth place at the Mundelein IHSA Invitational on Jan. 6.
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This is the first year competitive dance is recognized as an Illinois High School Association governed sport. IHSA oversight has meant a new set of rules, scoring rubric and competition schedule for all dance teams choosing to affiliate under the new rules.
One of the more difficult challenges has been preparing for competitions, which are no longer qualifying events for state finals. Each team can bring up to two dances to an invitational, and all dances compete against each other with no distinctions between dance genres.
This particular new rule has meant that teams like LHS, which brought a jazz and poms routine to the competition, end up competing against themselves. At any given IHSA invitational, around 20-40 dances are entered into the 3A division (LHS's division).
"The Mundelein IHSA Invite was an exhilarating event for the LHS Varsity Dance Team," said Coach Jaqueline Newman. "While this season has been a learning curve for us all, our girls' fortitude, unwavering support for one another, and sheer love for the sport of dance, has brought this program success. Our team has grown tremendously with each invite as we perform alongside very talented surrounding schools, and we intend to progress even further as we approach sectionals. I'm so proud of this program and feel honored to coach the Libertyville Varsity Dance Team."
The team performs at home football and girls and boys basketball games. Their next competition will be IHSA 3A Sectionals at Grayslake North High School on Saturday, Jan. 19.
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