Centralettes take on Regionals

Megan Helfers, Sara Lisac, and Sara Lisac

The Centralettes competed at Indiana High School Dance Team Association Regionals that was hosted at Lake Central on Feb. 22, where both JV and varsity placed first in their hip-hop and jazz routines.

“[Compared to prior competitions], my mood during Regionals was that I knew we had a lot riding on us. We all wanted to make it to State, so we had to give it 110 percent,” Kelsie Verhoeve (10) said.

The JV Centralettes performed in the first half of the competition. Prior to performing their jazz routine, several teams had issues with the music stopping while they were performing. The speakers that were being used were not working properly, and the JV Centralettes weren’t expecting their music to mess up.

“We heard that Grimmer’s music was messed up, but I didn’t think it stopped. I thought it just skipped. I wasn’t really nervous about it happening to us,” Emily Lisac (9) said.

About 50 seconds into the JV jazz performance, the music stopped unexpectedly. Already trained to know what to do if such an event occurred, the girls started counting out their steps out loud. The audience stood up and started clapping for the remainder of the performance.

“I think they did a lot better without the music because [the JV team] actually had a chance to count it out. The crowd cheering made it even better for them. They did it really well,” Tari Markowski (12) said.

Just when the dancers thought that nothing else could go wrong, varsity had a problem. During warm-up for their hip-hop routine, the girls were practicing a new trick that required a dancer to flip over another girl. Michelle Gentz (12) was flipping over Julia Demma (12). Gentz didn’t flip far enough over Demma and caused Gentz to land on Demma’s back. With the force of the unexpected landing, Demma’s arms collapsed and Demma hit her head on the tile floor of the cafeteria. Being told that she had a concussion, Demma was not able to dance for either the hip-hop or jazz routine. The injury of a team member motivated the girls to dance harder.

“I think we took the situation well. When we were on deck, we were saying, ‘Do it for Julia.’ We pulled through,” Chrissy Foreman (12) said.

From March 6-10th, the varsity Centralettes will compete at National Dance Association Nationals in Florida. After Nationals, the JV and varsity Centralettes will finish their season at the IHSTDA State competition on March 15.