ST. JOHN | With its 18th consecutive state title and eighth national title, the Lake Central High School Centralettes continue a tradition of excellence that shows no sign of abating.
The Varsity dance team from Lake Central High School swept both the Jazz and Hip-Hop divisions at the Indiana High School Dance Team Association's annual regional and state contests with near-perfect scores.
"Atonement," choreographed by Bri Clark, took the Technical Excellence Award and first place in the Large Varsity Jazz Division at the National Dance Association Nationals in Orlando, Fla.
The varsity team's hip hop tribute to victims of the Japanese tsunami placed sixth at nationals. Choregraphed by Toya Ambrose, the spoken-word poetic ode was well-received by members of a visiting high school team from Fukui, Japan.
The Centralettes were able to convey their message of empathy despite a formidable language barrier and the two teams established a meaningful bond that continued through the competition.
The Junior Varsity Centralettes followed suit with first-place wins at state in both the Jazz and Hip Hop categories.
The annual state competition takes place each March in the nation's largest field house at New Castle High School, and is open to the public.
Varsity Centralette team members are: Rosie Arellano, Jade Blessing, Jenna Blessing, Julia Demma, Dani Dombovic, Krissy Dombovic, Michelle Gentz, Nicole Griffin, Maddie Hiemstra, Millie Hiestand, Tari Markowski, Frances Pollaro, Shannon Putnam, Amanda Roberts, Ashley Roberts, Lauren Skertich, Katie Speckman, Allie Tribble and Deja Washington.
Junior Varsity team members for 2011-12 are: Gabrielle Aloia, Megan Barenie, Laurel Brummett, Courtney Carlson, Missy Dobos, Abbey Emmett, Christine Foreman, Emma Hupp, Sara Lisac, Brianna Martin, Lindsay McClain, Marisa Mendoza, Tiffany Polyak, Jill Poplon, Danielle Soucie, Megan Tar, Celine Tucker, Katie Vega, Michaela Vuckovic, Jill Wilschke.
Both teams are under the direction of Kevin Mathis and a staff that includes Bri Clark, Toya Ambrose, Katie Johnson and Leah Shaffer.