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York Varsity Dance Team leaps to the top of the podium

Coach+Kristen+Baron+honors+the+poms+team+at+the+pep+rally+celebrating+their+2018+state+championship.+Feb.+2%2C+2018.
Coach Kristen Baron honors the poms team at the pep rally celebrating their 2018 state championship. Feb. 2, 2018.

Coach Kristen Baron honors the poms team at the pep rally celebrating their 2018 state championship. Feb. 2, 2018.

Photo by Luc Plaisted

Photo by Luc Plaisted

Coach Kristen Baron honors the poms team at the pep rally celebrating their 2018 state championship. Feb. 2, 2018.

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Students, faculty, staff and parents gathered in the Dick Campbell Gym this afternoon for a pep rally celebrating the York Varsity Dance Team for earning first place at the 2018 IHSA State Finals in the 3A division and bringing home the first state title for competitive dance at York.

Photo by Luc Plaisted
York Poms perform their state championship dance at the pep rally. Feb. 2, 2018.

Since their season started this summer, the dance team has been perfecting their technique and building friendships. They have had many victories competing this season and their state championship is by far the most exciting for them and the whole York community.

“This season strengthened our team so much, we all worked equally hard add contributed our part to the team, giving us trust in one another,” senior Nina Nicosia said. “We also did a team dinner the night before every competition this year as a way to bond. We always had so many laughs together and inside jokes. When you are performing, there’s no greater feeling than being on the floor with your best friends.”

The girls made it their goal to go above and beyond in all of their performances throughout the season. Taking first at three competitions in a row and first at state finals, the girls achieved this goal.

“The moment they called our name was nothing short of surreal,” said junor Amanda Gorski. “Tears filled our eyes as we ran towards the podium to our trophy and medals.”

Photo Courtesy of IL8to18
The top three teams at the 2018 IHSA State Finals, of the 3A division, pose for a picture with their trophies on and around the podium.

All these successes do not come easily; the dancers have put in many hours of hard work since before school began. After school, the girls go straight to the Black Box Dance Studio to practice and clean up their routine to perfect it for performances.

“We practice four times a week for two to three hours,” senior Katherine Ciannella said. “At practices we warm up and talk about the previous or upcoming weekend, as we compete every weekend, for the first 15 to 30 minutes. Then, we run the dance a few times and we clean the moves one by one (typically going through 40 to 60 seconds per practice). Then we just run through the dance for endurance.”

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of IL8to18 
The York Varsity Dance Team shows off their first place medals and trophy.

After all of the dedication the girls gave to their season, they proved to truly be champions. On Fri., Feb. 2, the girls got to show the school just how they took the 3A division by storm. The team performed their award winning routine for the York students and faculty at an assembly dedicated to their victory at the 2018 IHSA State Finals.

“I was a little more nervous than I normally am,” junior Norah Haarstad said. “You get so used to performing in front of people, but performing in front of your peers is a whole different feeling. But it was nice to show the school how hard we worked for this amazing accomplishment.”

Being on a team like the York Varsity Dance Team comes with many victories: getting first place at a competition; being named the number one team in the state; and finding unity as a team.

“This program has taught me the importance of finding unity in diversity,” senior Annemarie Carfagnini said. “Each girl on the team has their own strengths, and we all play an equally important role in executing our skills when we hit the floor. Without one girl, we may not have seen the results that we did. Winning state was an incredible feeling for all of us, but nothing can ever compare to the feeling of sharing the floor with an incredible group of people and putting on a great performance–and great performance is worth more to us than any trophy.”

Photo Courtesy of IL8to18
The girls prepare for the road to state as they pose in front of a good luck banner in matching outfit.

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York Varsity Dance Team leaps to the top of the podium