Dancing Celtics Win State

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Charlie Celtic, staff writer

NEW LENOX (March 15, 2021) – Last week, Providence Catholic High School’s Dancing Celtics took first place in the 1A State Championship – a triumphant ending to a year full of challenge.

“Words cannot describe the feeling of this huge accomplishment,” says coach Stephanie Coglianese, who has led the team over the years to the IHSA state finals four times, made top 12 twice, and now won a state championship. “We never thought after the ups and downs of the entire season, this would be the outcome. Our competitive season was short. We didn’t place in the top three in each competition, but we didn’t let this push us down. We used it as motivation to make each practice count. We wanted to execute a routine that was clean, rewarding, and showcased all of the girls in the best light.”

Competitive dance became a sanctioned sport within the IHSA in the 2012-13 school year. Before that, Providence Catholic competed within IDTA & TDI competitions. In 2004 the dance team won its first state championship in the Kick category. When dance became a sanctioned sport, categories became dissolved. In 2014, the dance team placed third in the IHSA State Finals competition under the direction of Tina Rouch. Coach Stephanie Coglianese took over the program in the 2016-17 school year.

Senior Payton Ward of Homer Glen says, “Winning the state championship this year means so much to me because it proved that we overcame all our hardships and pushed the team to our fullest potential. I hope the younger girls use this as motivation for next year to be leaders.”

“Winning the state championship was so amazing because we saw how much all of the hard work paid off, and I know, as a team, we all truly believe God was with us every step of the way. I hope the younger girls embrace every moment they have together because it really does fly by. Dancing on this team will give you a forever family,” adds senior Kathryn Hamilton of Orland Park.

This year, the team faced multiple ups and downs throughout the entire season. Due to Covid-19 and things being shut down, the team had to hold virtual tryouts. Over the summer, they began in-person practices – only to be put on pause in the fall before resuming in the winter. Social

distancing and masks also added to the challenges of practice and competition, as did filming for competition instead of performing live in front of the judges.

“Throughout this season, we have experienced so many ups and downs,” says senior Olivia Cecola of Bolingbrook. “From taking a couple of weeks off, only to come back full swing and have to work harder than we ever have to get to the biggest accomplishment possible. I have never been prouder to be part of a team with such amazing girls. I hope the younger girls never take for granted the time they have on this team and continue to work as hard as they have. This dance team is a forever sisterhood.”

The team worked together to fit a typical three-month normal competitive season into a five-week competitive season. Coach Coglianese attributes this to a strong foundation and a focus on goals and culture.

“Winning the state championship made me realize anything is truly possible if you put your heart to it. This team practiced seven days a week and never gave up. I’m so eternally grateful for the Providence Catholic Dance team and all the life-long friends it gave me!” says senior Jayden Prince of Lockport.