Team Feature: Warren
by Kaitlyn Winters, 8CA Staff Writer
A power-house in the hip hop world, the Warren Township High School varsity dancers are sixteen dedicated and talented girls. They consistently stand out at competitions and excite the audience and judges alike with their routines in the 3A division.
Head coach Sarah Stepek has been coaching at Warren Community High School for twelve years now, so she definitely knows how to lead a team to success. She has the girls train hard from the beginning of the season to the end, beginning their practices in July. In the summer, they focus on preparing for UDA camp and preparing for skills they will be using throughout the upcoming season. Once they transition into fall season, they begin practicing four to five times a week. At these fall practices, they not only prepare for football game performances, but they also drill skills and conditioning for the upcoming competition season. When winter rolls around, they increase their practice time even more, having practices at least five to six times a week, spanning two to three hours a day!
With such a busy schedule, members of the dance team must be extremely passionate and dedicated to dance. Many girls even take extra time attending studios for increased training, which helps them not only in their signature hip hop routines, but the other styles that they perform on the football field and basketball court. Even though many fans of the Warren Varsity Dance Team only get to see their annual hip hop routine at competition, they are a team filled with versatile dancers skilled in many styles.
Warren is well known for always being very competitive in hip hop, and that focus begins at tryouts. For girls to make varsity, they must be able to do headsprings and headstands, as well as show strong potential in performance. Having full team headsprings always stands out during performances, and adds a lot of power to Warren’s dances. Even their JV team demonstrates a wide array of advanced hip hop skills, something not seen very often in the IHSA dance world.
The choreography for winter season is always done initially by the captains and coaches, and as they receive feedback and scores from the judges they make changes as a team throughout the season. Making large changes based off of the judges’ feedback combined with their insane work ethic clearly leads them to great success, as they placed fifth in the IHSA competitive dance state finals this past year. Hip hop is a very demanding style of dance, and they never fail to leave the crowd in awe with their power and sync every time they hit the floor. The Warren Blue Devils are definitely looked up to by hip hop dancers all over Illinois.
Warren’s school colors are royal blue and old gold, and their mascot is the Blue Devil.
The team is made up of seven seniors, six juniors, and three sophomores. A total of six girls were new to Varsity for the 2015-2016 season.
Teams they admire:
The girls on the Warren dance team are very motivated by other hip hop teams that compete IHSA, including Grant and Lake Zurich. Additionally, they always enjoy watching Neuqua, Lake Park, and Stevenson high school.
Special Skills/ Trademarks:
They are obviously known for their strength in hip hop, but more specifically stand out for having creative concepts that are very different and innovative every year. The team performs many different styles of hip hop well, always bringing great power to the floor.