ST JOHN | Dance teams from around the region and state converged in St. John on Saturday for the 21st annual Lake Central Dance Invitational.
The event at Lake Central High School has become a cornerstone for dance in Indiana, said Kevin Mathis, coach of Lake Central’s Centralettes. Traditionally, the team that shines at the invitational ends up becoming a state champion, he said.
As for the Centralettes, “in 25 years (they are) the best team we’ve ever had," Mathis said.
Team members also have dedicated parents behind them.
“Our parents made the costumes,” Mathis said, with each costume sporting roughly 1,000 rhinestones apiece.
Those attending the invitational had to contend with ongoing construction as Lake Central readies for the second phase of a three-part project, which eventually will add a new competitive gymnasium to the building. This year’s dance event was in the current field house.
Thirty teams competed this year, including groups from Merrillville, St. John and Munster. The school and parking lots were packed, as teams and their fans crowded in to cheer on their favorites.
Glitz was the order of the day, and teams were decked out not only with rhinestones but body glitter and eye makeup.
The afternoon began with competition from junior high and middle school dance teams.
A 12-member team from Robert A. Taft Middle School in Crown Point took the floor as the second competitor of the afternoon. Dressed in red and white, the team performed kicks, gyrations and formations.
Scott Middle School, of Hammond, was represented by a team decked out in silver and black.
Dancers from Wilbur Wright Middle School in Munster performed kicks, spins and a kick line reminiscent of the Rockettes' show at Radio City Music Hall.