By Ryan Ingold
The Batavia Dance Team is headed to the IHSA state competition, and will hit the floor Jan. 31. The Bulldogs earned their state bid with a fifth-place finish at the Geneva sectional this past Saturday, Jan. 25. They will compete in the 2A division which consists of 30 teams.
According to team captain Alexis Moore, “Deerfield, Geneva, and Lake Zurich” are all very strong opponents.
In fact, Lake Zurich was crowned 2A champions in 2018 and 2019. When asked if there is a difference between preparing for a normal competition compared to the state competition, Moore said that there was.
“The difference is that we really focus on perfecting everything we do,” Moore said. “In dance, the little things are huge so making sure our timing and technique are pristine is key. Drilling the smallest parts of a routine is what we focus on, and making it the best we can since this is our last time performing competitively this season.”
The Bulldogs will need a top 12 performance day 1, in order to make it to the finals on Feb. 1.
Update: The Bulldogs took home 18th place on Friday, which was not high enough to advance to the finals. Moore’s statement about stronger opponents in the 2A division proved to be right considering Deerfield placed first, followed by Geneva second, and a third-place finish from Lake Zurich. There are a total of 82 teams in 2A for dance and for the Bulldogs to place 18th, Moore was very happy with her team’s performance.
“We are happy with how we did. We care more about performing and representing our school well rather than placing extremely high. We all felt as if we did our best.”
Head dance coach Angela Fuqua had this to say about her initial reaction when she found out her team would not be moving onto day two: “Disappointed because they did an outstanding job in their performance at STATE and though we may have a chance to go to second day based on how we performed. Our school played our performance on the screen by fieldhouse and many people commented on how amazing our performance was at state. My team did everything I asked them to do and prepared with hard work and dedication throughout the season. I keep replaying their performance and am impressed with how they executed all their team and individual goals.”
When Fuqua was asked about what she told her team after the competition, she said, “ I told my team how proud I am of them. I have a fairly young team, half of them are underclassmen and half are seniors. Most teams would call this a rebuilding year but our team made it to the State Series yet another year to represent our school and community. In fact, our teams have made the IHSA state series consecutively years and have only missed it one time since I have been coaching which is unheard of for other athletic teams. To say I am proud of them is an understatement. These dance athletes achieve on the dance floor but in their academic classes, community and school activities as well. It is a privilege to coach such well-rounded individuals.”