Dance team returns from State with a 3rd

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Members of the Galva Junior High dance team which won third and fifth place finishes in state competition on Saturday include (seated, from left) Rachel Holt, Briana Kazubowski, Shay Hill, Abby Hamilton; (middle row, from left) Brandi Barrett, Kassidee Aufderheide, Kylie Martin, Emily DeMay, Taylor Morland, Mackenzie Kitterman, Donel Samuel; (back, from left) Katie Bainbridge, Jonelle Humphrey and Skylar Savage.

For the first time ever, the Galva Junior High dance team has competed in the Illinois Dance Team Association Junior High/Junior Varsity State Finals, and the team returned home with a third place award.

Competing Downers Grove North High School near Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 28, Galva performed two different routines. They performed a kick routine to “Cuban Pete,” receiving a 69 score, which was 1.3 points above the score they received when they performed at the Hononegah regional competition two weeks ago. This score also placed them fifth overall in the kick division, behind Herrin, Plum Grove, Triad and first-place Marion - all AA schools.

Galva also performed a pom routine to “Jailhouse Rock,” registering a 73.1 score and winning third place - just missing second place by 2.3 points behind Wesclin and champion Plum Grove. The girls, who bettered their 71.1 Hononegah score, each  received individual third place medals and a plaque for the school.

Team members include Rachel Holt, Shay Hill, Emily DeMay, Abby Hamilton, Mackenzie Kitterman, Brandi Barrett, Briana Kazubowski, Kylie Martin, Kassidee Aufderheide, Skylar Savage, Donel Samuel, Jonelle Humphrey, Katie Bainbridge and Coach Sharon Murray.

“I think the girls were a little disappointed,” said Murray, “but I couldn’t be any prouder. What most people probably don’t realize is that at the varsity level, state competition is divided into A, AA, and AAA schools, so you are only competing against schools your own size. Since this is only about the fourth year that a state finals contest has been held for the  junior high age group, there are not as many teams participating, so we all compete against each other.

“It is difficult for our girls to understand that a lot of these large area schools are tough to beat because of their experience. Many of these girls have been dancing since a very young age and have a highly developed skill background.”

Murray further sang the praises of her squad.

“The Galva girls represented our school well, were poised, confident, and danced their hearts out,” she said. “They have made  history!”

Galva High School dance/drill captains Shelby Jacobson, Geri Lister and Nicole Thomson aided the effort Saturday, including helping with make-up.