After a year of virtual competition, the IHSA Competitive Dance meet returned to live performances at the 2022 State Finals in Bloomington. Find out more in this feature presented by Edward Medical Group.
A year ago, IHSA girls dance was able to hold a state competition for the 2021 season. While the athletes were appreciative for the opportunity to practice, perform and compete for a state title, the meet was held virtually. While the routines were still of their traditional high quality and there was plenty of sweat equity put into the chase for the championship, a big part of what makes competitive dance so electric was missing without the live performance.
Return to Bloomington-Normal
This weekend, the IHSA competitive state dance finals returned to Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington. 90 teams competing in the two day event, with the top 12 in each of the three classes advancing to Saturday’s finals.
Taking nothing away from last year’s performances, but virtual meets allow teams to record their routines, submitting their best version. This year, the live element returned, raising the stakes and the excitement levels throughout the meet.
Four Local Qualifiers
Neuqua Valley qualified for state in class 3A and Benet Academy earned a spot in class 2A, but neither school made the cut into the top 12. However, 2019 3A state champion Naperville North and Waubonsie Valley, who won the program’s first sectional championship a week ago, both advanced to the finals.
Ever since Naperville North won its first dance state title three years ago, it lifted the program to new heights, putting the Huskies in the company of perennial state contenders. Waubonsie Valley hopes to make a similar leap after taking home its first sectional crown.
Warriors and Huskies Adavance
To the surprise of no one, the competition was fierce and the quality of execution, sky high. Waubonsie Valley ended the meet in 10th place, the best finish for the Warriors since taking 6th in 2016 and just the second ever top ten finish for the green and gold.
Performing later in the day, Naperville North impressed the judges once again with a final score of 90.34, placing the Huskies in 6th place overall. It is the 5th season in a row the Huskies have been in the top 10.
Lake Park dazzled the crowd to win the 3A championship with a score of 98.26, just ahead of Barrington and Stevenson.
For seniors like Emme Camp, who was a member of the state championship team as a freshman, the chance to return to the state floor with her teammates in front of friends and family is the dream ending to a high school career.
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Justin Cornwell.