The Huntington Highsteppers are thrilled with the just completed season that saw the high school’s hip dance team place 13th in the Dance Team Union national championships in Orlando, Florida in the pom competition and among the top squads overall.
“I’m very happy and proud of my team,” junior Hallie Armengau said. “This year we have improved tremendously. With this being a chaotic year, we have become more of a family than before. We have come together as a team and worked harder than ever, which helped us with the competitive season.”
The Highsteppers performed at the Homecoming Weekend bonfire and pep rally as well as at halftime of football and basketball games and at the Key Club’s K-Factor talent show. The group marched in the Homecoming Day parade and competed in several Long Island competitions.
The Highsteppers also competed in the jazz and team performance categories at the nationals in Florida. Victoria Mangan, Mia Redick and Ms. Armengau also vied as soloists.
“Going to the nationals is the best part of the season,” Ms. Redick said. “It brings us all together as one and we all get very determined to be amazing and this year our hard work paid off because we placed in the top 15 out of over 50 teams. Highstepping has hands down been the best experience of my high school career and I loved serving captain for the team the past two years as well.”
Members of the dance team devote an enormous number of hours to perfecting their routines. Many take dance classes and all of them pursue fitness and conditioning programs to stay in tip-top shape.
“I’m so proud of all the girls on the team,” senior captain Bella Thompson said. “They have worked so hard and it definitely paid off. Nationals this year was a great way to end my last year. Not only did we place at the finals, but the bond that I have formed with all the girls is unforgettable.”
With the current year all wrapped up, the Highsteppers are already turning their attention to the 2020/21 season. The senior captains will be Ms. Armengau, Lainey Carney and Jailyn Fuentes. The junior captains are set to be Jillian LoTurco and Ella Naima. Stacey Ambrosio will be returning at the dance team’s coach.
The squad’s returnees also include Jordan Rund, Kate Sheran, Jordan Cook, Brooke Evans, Grace Colavecchio, Victoria Befumo, Maria Sabatino, Sophia Thompson, Victoria Mangan, Katelin Smith, Christina Drummings, Alexa Rind and Keira Francis.
“Next year we are going to continue to improve and show what we are truly capable of doing,” Ms. Armengau said. “We are going to work even harder and train more to achieve more especially at nationals hoping to receive a higher place.”
Once the COVID-19 pandemic ends and schools reopen, the Highsteppers are expected to hold tryouts for the 2020/21 squad. There will be flyers posted around the district and public announcements will be made via social media platforms.