M-S dance team earns 2nd- and 3rd-place invitational finishes

The Mahomet-Seymour Dance Team took home both second place and third place in the Class 1A division at the IHSA Competitive Dance Invitational last Saturday.

The M-S dancers, who wore blue outfits, earned the second-place slot for their first performance of Andra Day's song "Rise Up." The 16-member dance team changed into a white costume to win third place with its rendition of "Joy" by Sleeping At Last.

First place in the Class 1A division went to Civic Memorial. In the Class 2A division, Normal West's second routine won first, Triad's first routine took second while its second routine earned third. For the Class 3A division, Whitney Young took home first place.

Mahomet-Seymour hosted the 12-team event in its high school gymnasium from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each squad received two opportunities to dance for the judges.

Head coach Margaret Miller said she didn't really know what to expect out of her young team. But with a packed home crowd, the girls rose to the occasion.

"It was awesome," Miller said. "I honestly cried during the second dance; it was beautiful. I couldn't be happier. Getting second place out of 12 teams is a great accomplishment."

The performance will hopefully be a good stepping stone as sectionals will start in two weeks. If Mahomet-Seymour can place in the top five at the sectional, it will advance to state.

"We have a really young team, so we've been working on confidence a lot," Miller said. "They're great dancers, but I've been working on having them know that and dance with confidence.

"We use a lot of positive reinforcement and we're focusing on pointing out the good."

The invitational was loaded with very competitive teams from all over the state of Illinois. Chicago Whitney Young, Bradley-Bourbonnais, Peoria Notre Dame, Kewanee, LaSalle-Peru, Danville, Champaign Centennial, Coal City, Clinton, Triad and Bethalto Civic Memorial made up the field.

"It was so fun," M-S freshman dancer Mimi Davis said. "It was a good experience. We've been working on this for such a long time. We've been practicing since the summer. It was nice to see things pay off."

The M-S dance team roster includes: Tennille Bode, Claire Burns, Mimi Davis, Parker Denby, Brooklyn Houser, Erica Johnson, Erin Krumwiede, Alissa Lane, Mattie Leskis, Maya McGrath, Caitlin McNulty, Kelsie Mitchem, Lauren Penick, Rachel Silvey, Anna Taylor and Ella Wolters. Kellie Ackerman and Grace Davis help manage the team.

A group of Mahomet-Seymour boys performed an exhibition dance routine for the crowd bef-ore the awards ceremony.

The crowd roared with approval as the group of 21 boys danced to a variety of songs.

"It's one of the better high school memories that I've had," M-S senior Ryan Hodge said. "Just making people laugh and enjoying myself with my friends is awesome. At first it's hard to get guys to come out, but onceyou see your friends going out for the team, you can get some momentum."

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