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ST. JOHN | The Lake Central Centralettes returned recently from Orlando, Fla. with more than a tan.

Competing at the National Dance Alliance National Championships, they brought home a national title for the ninth time in team history. The Centralettes were crowned national champions in the Large Varsity Jazz Division.

Teams from the U.S. and Japan competed against the best of the best, including a field of 63 jazz teams.

The 18-member Lake Central High School team won with their performance to the spoken word prologue of "Romeo and Juliet" mixed with a musical score performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

The dance centers on the conflict of the two families and its tragic result. Donned in velvet and rhinestones, the team prompted cheers and tears from the audience.

They also received the Superior Showmanship Award, placed fifth in the Large Varsity Hip Hop Division with a dance to 1990’s music. After three days of competition, the Centralettes returned home to a police escort.

To complete their season, both varsity and JV squads traveled to the Indiana High School Dance Team Association State Finals in New Castle. For the 20th consecutive year, the Centralettes came home as state champions. Both varsity and JV won their divisions in Jazz and Hip Hop.

Varsity Centralette team members include: Jenna Blessing, Courtney Carlson, Alyssa Carter, Reyna Crothers, Julia Demma, Daniella Dombovic, Christine Foreman, Michelle Gentz, Millie Hiestand, Emma Hupp, Tari Markowski, Jill Poplon, Amanda Roberts, Kate Speckman, Emma Strohacker, Allyson Vanek, Nicole Vanek and Michaela Vuckovich.

JV Centralette team members include: Alexis Curatolo, Julia Delsangro, Breanne Dobos, Stephanie Foster, Lindsey Gercken, Laurel Gonsiorowski, Talia Harman, Megan Helfers, Gina Irwin, Emily Lisac, Abby Markowski, Cassie Morris, Autumn Napiwocki, Emma Nelson, Adare Pitchford, Kristina Plaskett, Sydney Stanek, Alexa Szatkowski and Kelsie Verhoeve.

Both teams are under the direction of Kevin Mathis and a staff that includes Bri Lakomy, Toya Ambrose, Katie DiCianni, Leah Shaffer and Amanda Crothers.

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