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North Star Drill Team Dance Clinic gets girls ready to strut their stuff

ST. CHARLES – Young dancers had a chance to work with some stars earlier this month – stars who happen to be student dancers at St. Charles North High School. More than 100 girls in first to eighth grade participated in the North Star Drill Team Dance Clinic at Bell Graham Elementary School in St. Charles.

The camp started Aug. 14 and ran until Aug. 17.

The JV and varsity drill team members provided choreographed sideline and dance routines. Amy Heinz heads the dance clinic committee.

“We just want them to have fun,” Heinz said. “… we want them to feel comfortable and excited and proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

The dancers will get to show off their accomplishments on the stage of the football field at St. Charles North during a Black & Blue Scrimmage on Aug. 18.

The dancers are divided into groups based on their grade levels – first-, second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-graders will have different dance routines. The middle school group will perform a routine together.

April Conquest, an Elgin resident and coach of the dance clinic, made an announcement during the Aug. 14 rehearsal in the gym.

The group learned it would start the rehearsal with stretching. The dancers exclaimed, “Yeah!” when asked if they were ready.

A few drill team members led the group. The girls, mostly wearing shorts, T-shirts, sneakers or jazz shoes, and ponytails, stretched deeply from side to side and did jumping jacks around the room. Crystal Kotvan led a sideline routine.

“Make sure you plié!” said Andrea Hayes, fellow drill member.

Together the dancers made a big T, snapped, bent, crossed legs and turned to the tune of Katy Perry’s “Roar.”

Conquest inquired what the JV team had to do as it got in position with its blue and silver pompoms to perform.

The campers called out different ideas, such as smile, make sure everyone is ready, point your toes and spread out.

Andrea Hayes, drill member, exclaimed: “Have fun!”

The group became an engaged audience as it watched the JV team perform. Drill dancers wore bright smiles and showcased skills with leaps, jumps, high-kick jogs and high legs during the kick line.

Tom Mullaly, an Elburn resident and volunteer photographer, snapped pictures.

Elizabeth Eberhardt, 9, an Elburn resident, expressed how she felt when dancing.

“I feel excited,” Eberhardt said.

St. Charles resident Christina Formento was all smiles at the clinic.

“I feel good because I know in the end that I’ll be learning something,” Formento said. “And it’s really fun.”

Heidi Heinz, daughter of Amy Heinz and drill team member, had advice that she passed on to the dance campers.

“Always keep practicing,” she said. “And strive to get better every day.”

For information about the North Star Drill Team Dance Clinic, visit

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