9 months ago


The Lake Forest Leader 012518

36 | January 25, 2018 |

36 | January 25, 2018 | The lake forest leader Lake Forest American Home Maintenance Service & Repairs, LLC. Stuck indoors through the arctic blast? January’s thaw you know won’t last. Basement, attics and even crawls, all our places where water stalls. 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The team competed, and won, the North Suburban Conference title on Jan. 12. That title kicked off a slew of weekends that are packed with tough competition not only from Illinois, but nationally. The last of the events will require the team to travel to Orlando, Fla. for the Universal Dance Association Nationals Competition Feb. 3. However, the Scouts had to get through the Illinois High School Association’s sectional competition Saturday, Jan. 20 to qualify for state the following weekend. They did. The Scouts took second place in the 2A division with 91.77 points, they advanced to the state stage. “Mentally and physically they’re ready,” Scouts coach Alexis Laurine said. The team’s recent success has been encouraging considering all of the hardships the squad faced at the beginning of the season. Laurine is new to the team this season and while things have been going smoothly since her start, there were some road blocks leading into the competition season. “We were expecting a lot of the changes to get us down; we had a lot of things against us,” co-captain Kailey Hetler said. “I would say that we rose and matched the bar and set the bar even higher for us this season and for the seasons to come.” In addition to getting a new coach, the Scouts The Lake Forest dance team poses for a photo Jan. 12 after they won the North Suburban Conference title at Waukegan High School. Photo Submitted dropped from the large division to the medium division after teammates were lost to graduation. Hetler, Meredith Delaney and Erin Nolan are the captains this season. With the amount of uncertainty the team had heading into the season it could have gone either way. Nolan thinks those struggles helped the team. “Originally we didn’t know where everything stood with our coach and stuff,” Nolan said. “All three of us took the initiative, especially during the football season. We worked out a lot and pushed ourselves.” That internal leadership created a strong connection within the team. “We’re happy with the results we’ve gotten so far,” Hetler said. “At the beginning of the season ... we had a lot of different changes. We had a new coach, new choreographers, new division and we added Ben (Reinkemeyer) to the team. “All of those changes brought us together. Everyone on the team is very committed and devoted to not only being better for themselves but being better for the team and the team’s success.” The Scouts recent success at conference has set the tone for the state meet and Nationals. “It was honestly one of the best times we’ve performed so far this season,” Laurine said about the conference performance. “They were really excited to be there and excited to compete.” The format was something the team wasn’t used to, and was held on a Friday night after school. “We ended up pulling out a win which was really exciting for them,” Laurine said. “I don’t think we’ve won a competition this year. It was a good confidence booster for the team for sure.” The team did win a title, at the University of Illinois at Chicago during the UDA Dance Competition in jazz. They placed second in the poms category, one that they historically haven’t done well in. However, with three action packed weekends upcoming, Laurine has been stressing that the squad needs to not only perform well and clean but they will need to pace themselves if they’re going to be successful. “I’ve been telling them that it’s a marathon not a sprint (this month),” she said. “We have something coming every week but it’s a marathon so you have to conserve energy ... you have to think about what’s coming next too, not just what’s happening now.” The team knows the routine, and have proven that they can execute it effectively. Now, it’s time to focus in on the smaller details that could be the difference between winning state, or even nationals, and coming in second or third. “At this point they know the routine,” Laurine said. “We kind of cleaned it, gone over it, so it’s just keeping their stamina up and just making sure all the little details are there.”