Written by Steven Keith
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 00:00
BLOOMINGTON — The Illinois High School Association crowned three competitive dance teams as champions last weekend at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, during its inaugural Class 1A, 2A and 3A Competitive Dance State Finals.
This month, 207 teams competed in the IHSA State Sectionals, including 64 teams in Class 1A, 69 teams in Class 2A and 74 teams in Class 3A, for a chance to advance to the preliminary round of the state finals. Out of those 207 teams, 91 teams advanced to the preliminary round of the state finals that were held Friday, Jan. 25.
“We have five sectionals around the state in each class,” said IHSA Assistant Executive Director Matt Troha. “There was somewhere on average 12-15 teams in each class at each sectional. Six of those from each sectional qualified for the state finals.”
During the preliminary round of the state finals, the teams that received one of the 10 highest scores in each class advanced to final round that was held Saturday, Jan. 26. During the final round of the state finals, Edwardsville Metro-Lutheran East High School won the Class 1A Championship with the score of 84.22, Crystal Lake Central High School won the Class 2A Championship with a score of 90.32, and Park Ridge Main South High School won the Class 3A Championship with a score of 98.36.
Each of the dance performances were judged by six judges, during the IHSA State Sectionals and Finals. Five judges watched from the judging panel directly in front of the performance area, including a head judge, and one technical judge was adjacent to the panel on the floor. The judges scored each performance on technique, synchronization and musicality, choreography, formations, transitions and overall effect.
“They (judges) are licensed officials through us and we have a process in place in which coaches and other officials can rate officials, so we can find out who the better officials are,” said Troha. “Based on those types of rankings, we select who works the sectional and who works the state finals.”
Performances must be at least one minute and 45 seconds in length, but can be no longer than three minutes. The general performance area for competitive dance is a standard high school basketball court.
Competitive dance rosters have a maximum of 28 team members. A team can have as many as 24 dancers on the floor for a performance and must have at least five dancers on the floor to perform.
The IHSA utilizes a unique open format, which provides one routine where all genres and styles compete against one another. Teams perform dance styles such as pom-pom, kick, lyrical, jazz, hip hop and hybrids combining multiple styles.
Troha expects more schools to participate in the IHSA State Sectionals next year.
“There’s some schools out there that have one (competitive dance team) who didn’t enter this year in our tournament because they take kind of a wait-to-see approach,” said Troha. “Generally, the historic context is that when you add a sport — that is a sport of activity that more of our schools have adopted over time.”
The IHSA State Finals will be held at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, 101 S. Madison St., Bloomington, for at least the next four years.
“The initial bid that we accepted was for a five-year contract, so we will be there at least the next four years,” said Troha.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 15:07