Iron Dance Team pirouettes into new division

Team moves up to 3A after school population grows

November 15, 2016

The pressure is on for the girls of the NCHS dance team: this year, they have been moved up from a division 2A group to 3A by the IHSA. The division is decided by the population of the school. The cutoff is 2,006 students and this year we hit 2,052 students. This means the team is now going to be competing against groups from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs – schools with extremely dedicated dancers.

The team has mixed emotions about this change, “It’s very intimidating…[the Chicago schools] have very technical dancers, they have larger groups. But, you know, we might do well,” said one of the team captains, senior Kayla Hartley.

One thing is for sure, these girls have a leg up against the other schools when it comes to how close they are.

“The whole team is really close,” mentioned team member Julia Read (12), “everyone gets along, which is nice. We all have a great relationship and we’re always encouraging each other and help each other be better.”

This camaraderie has lead them all the way to Nationals in Orlando, Florida. Taking them to the finals is Coach Mindy Ewalt, who supports the girls through more than just routines.

Ewalt commented on her favorite part about being the girls’ coach, “Probably the relationships with the girls. I get to talk to them on a different level than just dance.”

Ewalt has helped the girls with the problems that come with high school, from break-ups to deaths in their family. The team has supported each other throughout everything, and will continue as they head on to the challenge of their new division.

“Our goal is always to be really bonded, so that we can dance as one unit,” said Hartley, proving how teamwork can show on and off the stage.

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