Ridgewood dance girls ride emotion to state silver

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Ridgewood took second place at the state dance contest on Saturday in Champaign. Team members include (front, from left) Kendall McKie, Somer Anderson, Rebecca Underwood, Sara Eagles, Hanna Swanson; (rear, from left) Katie Stevenson, Tayler Hein, Emily Peterson, Jazmine Toribio, Kalli Humphrey and Dana Brock.

The Ridgewood high school dance team faced a stiff test, but passed with flying colors.

The team, made up of AlWood and Cambridge students, was one of eight teams competing in the 1A Lyrical/Contemporary division of the Illinois Dance Team Association state finals at the University of Illinois.

“We were by far the smallest school in the category,” said Leanne Walsh, Ridgewood dance sponsor. “Lyrical/Contemporary was a new category for the team to try. Contemporary dance is a lot of acting and dancing to a story. It also has a lot of non-traditional dance moves.”

Walsh said it was a “very emotional day” for her team, knowing it was the last time they’d all compete together.

“The team took that emotion and danced the best that they have ever done,” Walsh said.

The team placed second, missing first place by less than one point, and also received a very high score in showmanship.

“This is the first time in my history of coaching that I have ever received such high honors for a team,” stated Walsh. “I’m very proud.”