Dance team pivots toward next year


The 2023 competitive dance team’s official picture. (Photo by David Jennings)

By Isha Nasib and Emily Armenta

On Saturday at South Elgin, around 2:30 pm, West Chicago’s High School dance team ended their competitive season, placing 14th out of 15 teams at their sectional competition.

Ultimately, Lake Park, who placed first in state last year, took the competition with a dance to a mix of songs sung in French.

The dance team danced to the song “Believer” by the Seven Remix, a play off the song “Believe” originally sung by Cher.  They wore a black one piece and sequined tops. The song included a number of classic dance moves, including pas de bourrées, jetés and well-choreographed chaine turns. The group received positive feedback on their performance. Additionally, the dance had many featured parts in which the dancers would perform a particular trick by themselves, showing off their talents: there were handstands, cartwheels, jumps and a ponché performed by soloists.


Tickets were purchased in advance, and the event was held in the main gym of South Elgin High School. 

The dance team poses outside the gym before competition. (Photo courtesy of Sasha Baumgartner)

“Dance is a hard sport in general, but for being everyone’s first year on Varsity, I’m very happy with every goal I accomplished as a dancer, and as a whole team,” said junior Alexa Morales. 

“This year we have done a lot. From working on hard-to-master skills, to include them in the halftime performances or even in our competition routines, to working on the little things (those are the most important!). The coaches have provided us with so much support throughout the season, which has helped us all as a team and even as an individual performer improve. They gave us the confidence to keep working, no matter what, to achieve our goals and that nothing is impossible if you really try,” said freshman Rylee Finstrom.

The dance team has also competed in the South Elgin invitational on the 14th of January. The dance team was, overall, praised for their crossover and staging. 

Following the conclusion of the competitive season, the team decided to host a co-ed youth dance clinic, held on February 5 at West Chicago Community High School. The cost was $30 per child, and times ranged from 9-11:30 a.m. for ages ranging from 5-8 years old, and noon to 2:30 p.m. for those 9-14 years old. 

“I’m excited for the kids camp because then we can get more people involved in the dance program,” said junior Lauren Sikma.

Building the team is an important goal for the coming year.

“The dance team is a very positive community and has helped me learn so much, not only about dance but about the importance of friendship and of faith in your team and yourself,” said Finstrom.

The team held a successful youth clinic in early February at the high school. (Photo courtesy of @dance_WEGO)