Competing for the spotlight

Junior Angelina Iacobelli takes the lead as the whole squad leans back in response to the song lyrics.


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            On January 15, the Dance Team participated in “Dance Team Union,” a competition held at Wayne Valley High School. This marked the first time the team danced competitively in four years. 

            The team placed 2nd out of six teams in their jazz routine, and 4th out of eight teams for their hip-hop performance. “For our first time competing in years, we did amazing, and I am so proud of how far we have come!” exclaimed senior Christina Scotto. 

            Judges scored each team in attendance upon artistry, technique, execution, and showmanship to determine the rankings. “It was really nerve-wracking at first, but it was such an amazing feeling during the routine,” said Gabriella Detloff. 

Isabella Florio, one of the team’s captains, dances while wearing the squad’s purple, white, and black uniform.

            The journey to the competition started with the choreography. Danielle Valinotti, former dance team captain and University of Delaware dance team alumni, used her expertise to choreograph two routines for the girls to compete. “Danielle is an OBHSDT alumni, so she was already familiar with how we work and what our team is all about, making that part of the process a little easier,” explained senior Amanda Feldman. 

            After performing various sideline and halftime routines throughout the fall, the team began the work to perfect their competition performance back in November. “We would meet as a team twice a week to clean and rehearse the dances,” shared junior Julia Rowan.  

            On December 23, the team showcased their new routine in front of the school at the Winter Pep Rally. “People have only seen our halftimes, and this dance was on a new level for us, so it was cool to be able to show everyone,” expressed Detloff.  

Co-captain Madison Mulè, Leah Pietanza, Lily Kelly, Christina Scotto, and Isabella Smith strike a pose during their Pep Rally performance.

            The team stormed the floor, showing off their matching purple jackets during a crowd-engaging hip-hop routine, “That is my favorite dance we have ever performed, and doing it for an audience for the first time felt so good,” Scotto expressed.  

            After years of limited opportunities due to COVID, the girls were determined to make this season memorable and set a path for the future of the dance team. Beyond competing, the team has performed on the sidelines at football games, and at wrestling matches. “I’m confident that after our senior class graduates, the girls remaining on the team will continue to build on the precedents we worked hard to set and grow the legacy we know OBHSDT can be,” shared senior Amanda Feldman. 

Posted on 2/17/23

Photos by Katelyn Buchalter

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