EHS Dance Secures Spot to State


Zach Kennett

Sophomore Addison Keller dances at the halftime show at the boys basketball game against Alton.

Maggie Terry, Staff writer

The dance team prepares to make their first return to the IHSA state competition since 2018. 

The team finished fifth place at the Washington Sectional on Saturday which secured their spot for the IHSA Class 3A state final competition. 

“When we heard our name, it was such a crazy and awesome feeling,” sophomore dancer Addison Keller said. 

This will be the first time any members on the team have made it to the IHSA state level. The team will compete Friday and Saturday in Bloomington.

This will also be the first time that coach Chelsea Guempel will travel to state, and coach Danielle Lusicic’s second time. Coach Luisici was an assistant coach in the 2018 season, the last time EHS went to IHSA state, but became a co-coach with Guempel the following year. 

This isn’t the only state competition that the team qualified for.

The team also qualified for Illinois Drill Team Association AAA state competition for the lyrical and hip hop genres. According to the Edwardsville Intelligencer, unlike the IHSA competition this is a private competition that EHS qualifies for almost every year.

These two competitions will be the last time performing for senior Gabrielle Rathgeb and senior captain Desirae Synder.  

“It’s crazy how close you get with the girls in such a small amount of time,” Rathgeb said. “They are all my best friends.”

Rathgeb decided to come back to the dance team for her last year after focusing on club dance her sophomore and junior year.

“It was the best decision I could’ve ever made for my senior year,” Rathgeb said. 

Synder has been the captain since her sophomore year and has been a huge help for all of the other members of the team.

“They are both just such amazing role models for the team and I will miss them both very much,” Keller said. 

The team have practiced all week to clean up their performance and make sure they are prepared.

They will be sent off Friday at 8:05 a.m. in the EHS commons before heading to Bloomington. 

“I am thrilled for us to be able to get out on stage, showing what our hard work and dedication has led us to,” Keller said.