Nearly 5000 dancers to compete at State Championship

Iowa is home to the largest high school dance team competition in the country. On Dec. 5 and 6 nearly 5000 high school and college students will compete at the Iowa State Dance & Drill Team (ISDTA) 44th Annual Iowa State Dance Team Championship in Des Moines.

“For more than 40 years ISDTA has been promoting the sports of dance and drill team,” said Andrea Dana, executive director for ISDTA. “Like many of Iowa’s athletic tournaments, the Iowa State Dance Team Championship involves a lot of pageantry and tradition. But make no mistake, these students are here to compete and they want to win.”

Competition categories include pom, hip hop, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, military, kick, hoopla, light, novelty, prop, color guard, all-male, co-ed, and show production. Teams are divided into classes based on school enrollment. They are evaluated and judged by industry professionals from all corners of the United States.

According to Dana, teams begin preparing as early as June and July selecting music, learning choreography, and preparing costumes and/or props.

“I am continually amazed by the choreography, creativity and athleticism we see at this competition,” said Dana. “The bar is raised higher each year.”

Twenty-four college teams and 254 high school teams make up the 600 routines that will be performed in a two-day period. Teams earn points for choreography, execution, difficulty and showmanship.

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