Lincoln Dance Team prepares for 2022 State competition


Antoinette D'Ambrosio

Lincoln’s dance team celebrates after the awards ceremony at the Portland Interscholastic League (PIL) competition. Their State competition will be on Mar. 19 at Oregon City High School.

Camilla Correani

“Team, take your positions please,” says the announcer as the gym floor fills with dancers in costumes and rhinestones. “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd begins playing through the speakers, and the dance begins.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lincoln High School’s dance team has not been to State since they placed second by .21 points in March 2019. The anticipation is high once again as the team prepares for Mar. 19, an opportunity to bring home a first place trophy at State.

Eloise Hook, a sophomore on the team, was on the West Sylvan Dance Team for all three years of middle school. The team won State her seventh grade year, and she hopes to repeat a similar victory in high school. 

“It is the biggest competition of the season,” Hook said. “If we win State this year, it would just be incredible.”

The State competition is filled with not only nerves and jitters, but a bittersweet feeling as dancers prepare for their final competition of the season.

“People will quit, people will graduate, so it’s going to be our last time with this group of people that we’ve bonded [with] since September,” Hook said. 

Keeley Driscoll has been coaching Lincoln’s dance team for seven years and was on it herself when she was in high school. She is looking forward to this year’s State competition.

“I was on the Lincoln Dance Team [from] 2004-2008, and we won State every year except my senior year. So of course winning State this year [as a coach] would be incredible,” Driscoll said. 

The team has been practicing eight hours a week as they prepare for the biggest competition of the season.

“Practice is very rigorous leading up to State,” Driscoll said. “We are running the routine back-to-back to build up endurance. We are doing strength and conditioning so that we are not stagnant in our technique and skills.” 

With competition comes the harsh calls of the judges, who ultimately give the overall score. Anything can cause points to be taken away from the team. A technical judge watches closely for deductions, such as stepping on costume pieces, performing illegal lifts or going over the time limit. 

“My least favorite thing about competing is the subjectivity,” Driscoll said. “It could’ve been our best performance, but maybe the song doesn’t resonate with a judge, or maybe a judge missed a section because they were watching another part of the floor. It is not black and white like a touchdown or home-run type situation.”

Junior Allie Hauck, a captain of the team, explained what a win at State would mean for Lincoln Dance. 

“It would mean a lot. It would be keeping up our reputation and proving to ourselves what we can do,” she said. “It would be very rewarding to know that our work paid off.” 

If you are interested in purchasing a ticket to the State competition on Mar. 19 at Oregon City High School, click here.