J’ettes place seventh at IHSA State

Claire Van Aken, staff writer

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The Jacksonville J’ettes competed at the IHSA State Competition for dance on January 25 and 26, 2019. The competition was held at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington, Illinois. The girls competed their Pom/Dance routine in the 1A division. They only had one, three-hour practice to prepare for the competition considering the weather and news that they had advanced. Co-captains Sarah May and Sara Wilson kept the vibes very positive and motivational at the practice though the stakes were high.

Going into the competition, the J’ettes had to focus more than ever. Considering they didn’t quite make the cut to State in the first place, they were determined to prove they should be there and make their fellow dance community proud.

Coaches Tiffany Hickox and Allyson Maul both agreed that the competitors at IHSA were the most fierce they had ever seen. “I think the girls are hungry and ready for a challenge,” said Hickox. Needless to say, the team excelled and definitely set the bar high for themselves.

The first goal was to advance to the state finals the following day, which consisted of the top twelve 1A teams in IHSA competitive dance. Their first performance was clean and sharp and showcased their fast-paced musicality. The J’ettes were mentioned on Twitter by an account that updates the dance community called @8CountAudioIL. They tweeted shortly after the first J’ette performance, “Jacksonville thriving a year after their huge breakthrough season! Great job with those speedy and fluid pirouettes and not cutting off any movements in such a fast tempo song. Love the strong and visual pom arms and superior showmanship.” This meant a lot to the team and gave them a major confidence boost.

The 1A awards ceremony on Friday was very nerve wracking for Jacksonville. This is the moment of truth and announcement of the finalists. The announcer finally announced Jacksonville as a Top 12 finalist to recompete the next day. They placed  11th.

On Saturday, the team of talented ladies put their best foot forward and recompeted their Pom/Dance routine. After competing in the finals, they quickly reported to the floor for the final 1A awards ceremony. The J’ettes ranked 7th in the State and left Bloomington feeling very humble but proud.

Congratulations, Jacksonville J’ettes! Good luck on the rest of your season.

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