By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Quincy Notre Dame High School's pompom team is competing Friday in the first competitive dance state tournament sponsored by the Illinois High School Association.
QND is one of 30 teams competing for the Class 1A state title. Another 30 teams from larger schools also will compete Friday in Class 2A, while 31 teams will compete in Class 3A.
The top 10 teams in each class will then advance to the championship rounds Saturday. All competition will take place at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
QND is the only school from this area to qualify for the IHSA tournament. The team moved on to the state competition by finishing in the top six at a regional tournament last weekend at Triad High School in Troy.
Coach Jennifer Terwelp said members of QND's pompom team are thrilled to be competing in the first state dance tournament sanctioned by the IHSA.
"The girls are every excited to have an opportunity to do this," Terwelp said. "They've been working hard, and they're hoping to bring home the first state championship for IHSA."
The IHSA's "open" format allows teams to compete in traditional pompom routines as well as a variety of dance styles, including lyrical, jazz, hip-hop, kick and hybrid dance combinations.
Terwelp said the 13 girls on Quincy's pompom squad have been practicing their state tournament routine since early November. The squad performed the routine publicly for the first time Wednesday at QND during a recognition assembly for the team.
Team captain Sierra Baker, the only senior on the squad, said she's looking forward to competing in the first IHSA state dance tournament.
"It's a good experience for us to go and do our routine more and more," Baker said.
Last year, QND placed first in the Illinois Drill Team Association's state tournament -- its first state title since 2002. The team is planning to compete in the 2013 IDTA state tournament March 16 in Champaign, Baker said.