2024 GHSA Dance State Championship Preview

Peachtree Ridge won the Class 7A competition dance championship in February. The GHSA sanctioned the sport in 2020-21.

Credit: GHSA

Credit: GHSA

Peachtree Ridge won the Class 7A competition dance championship in February. The GHSA sanctioned the sport in 2020-21.

The GHSA Dance State Championships return to the Macon Centreplex on Saturday, Feb. 10 for a non-stop day of action and finely-tuned competition. Teams will compete in four events—Hip Hop, Jazz, Pom and High Kick—and each classification (Class 7A, 5A-6A, 3A-4A, A-2A) will have an overall champion and state runner-up. Dance teams are able to compete as coed or all-girl in each of the dance genres.

This weekend’s championships are the culmination of a full season of elite competitions and the standards have been set with history on the line. On Dec. 9, South Forsyth High School hosted 32 varsity programs—including Class A-2A two-time defending state champion Stilwell Arts, Class 3A-4A defending state champion Starr’s Mill and reigning Class 5A-6A state champion McIntosh. Host South Forsyth earned the top mark out of all the participants with a 94.55 and Denmark posted the second-best Class 7A result with a 91.73. Starr’s Mill topped the Class 4A and 3A field with its 92.38 and the next closest result in those two classifications was an 84.13 performance by Whitewater. Thomasville—which last won a state title in 2021 led Class 3A’s five-team field with an 82.28. Additionally, Stilwell Arts opened its bid for a third-straight title with a strong 91.88 showing. Stilwell excelled this past weekend at McIntosh with a season-high 95.23 score.

STATEWIDE SHOWCASES

Buford High School hosted 22 varsity squads on Dec. 16 and that lineup saw North Oconee top Seckinger and East Forsyth with an 86.1 mark in the three-team field of Class 4A participants and the Class 7A field was led by Lowndes (91.08) and host Buford (90.33). Dutchtown and Jefferson represented Class 5A and the Bulldogs (85.05) outscored Jefferson (74.85). Class 3A went to Thomasville—which scored an 88.05.

In the most recent showcase, McIntosh served as host on Feb. 3. Class 7A was extremely competitive with South Forsyth narrowly out-earning the six-team field with a season-high 96.75. Mill Creek scored a 96.58, Denmark posted a 93.45 and North Gwinnett was at a 92.05.

Host McIntosh turned in a 94.15 and on Jan. 20 McIntosh scored a 98.4—which is the highest mark achieved during the regular season by any team regardless of classification. Fayette County rival and Class 4A’s Starr’s Mill was the next highest with a 97.77 mark, earned at Heritage-Catoosa in the same event.

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Last year, Starr’s Mill won the Class 3A-4A state championship to become the second-ever program to win four consecutive state titles as the GHSA Championship Dance competition came to a close at the Centreplex in Macon.

The Panthers won the Class 5A-6A championship in each of the past three seasons before classifying down to Class 3A-4A and successfully defending last season. Starr’s Mill finished atop the Jazz and Pom events to secure the championship.

Mill Creek’s streak of four-straight titles came to an end with a runner-up finish to first-time champion Peachtree Ridge in the Class 7A event. Peachtree Ridge had not won a single segment in the past four seasons before winning the Hip Hop segment to capture last year’s title ahead of runner-up Mill Creek.

Starr’s Mill’s crosstown-rival McIntosh won the Class 5A-6A state title in 2023, marking the Chiefs’ second championship but first since 2019 when it won in Class 4A-5A. The Chiefs won the Jazz portion to finish ahead of runner-up Etowah, which was trying for its first-ever title.

In Class A-2A, Stilwell Arts won the Jazz and Pom portions of the 2023 event to capture the team’s third title while successfully defending last year’s championship. Runner-up Booker T. Washington last won a state title in 2019 in Class A-3A.

The action will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday with Class A-2A and 3A-4A up first. Awards will be handed out for those two classifications and then the second session will get underway at 3 p.m. and will crown this year’s Class 5A-6A and 7A state champs.

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