Dancin’ the Night Away – Dance Team Works Toward Northeast Competition

Marisa Wherry, Staff Writer

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TOWAMENCINEvery January, the North Penn High School dance team competes in the annual North East Dance Competition held in South Brunswick, New Jersey. The competition consists of three levels: Junior Varsity, Varsity, and College level. North Penn competes at Varsity level, and in 2011, the dance team placed first in Jazz and second in hip-hop; in 2012 the girls placed fourth and fifth in the two categories.

Dance Team Captains Leanne Louden, Jacqueline Depue, and Ashley John hope to lead the sixteen-girl squad to another victory in 2013.

“We love to get first in competitions, that was the best feeling ever. We all did that sophomore year so that gave us a flavor of it, and it would be awesome to do that again as seniors,” said John, who has been dancing since she was seven years old. Louden and Depue have both been dancing since age three.

Besides performing at the annual North East Dance Competition, the dance team regularly entertains crowds at the North Penn basketball games and occasional pep-ralleys. Routines for these events consist of both hip hop and jazz that Louden, Depue, and John choreographed themselves. While the captains are self-sufficient, they do have help from coaches Susan Mchugh, a North Penn High School Librarian, and Jen Kransbluky, an instructor from Jane Lopten School of Dance in Lansdale.

Other than placing first at the North East Dance Competition this year, the captains’ goal is to make people more aware of the dance team.

“It’s awesome to have a crowd to bounce energy off of,” said John. “It’s hard to perform to blank faces, so it would be really good to get a lot of hype about us.”

But dance isn’t all about choreography and performance; it’s about self-expression and individualism, yet at the same time teamwork and coordination.

“I just love moving and feeling the music, expressing myself and having fun doing it,” Louden said.

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