The GHSA Dance State Championships moved from the Columbus Convention and Trade Center to the Centreplex in Macon for this year’s competition, but you can expect the same level of finely-tuned talent striving for state championships Saturday across the state’s four classes.
Entering the final competition of the season are the defending champions ready to add another trophy to their cases and up-and-coming teams, trying to dethrone the title holders and deliver history to their programs.
The dance state championships will begin with Class A-2A and 3A-4A competing in the morning session and Class 7A and 5A-6A taking the floor for the afternoon session. The Macon Centreplex will be cleared between the first and second sessions and fans need to be ticketed accordingly.
Teams will compete in four events – Hip Hop, Jazz, Pom and High Kick – and each classification (7A, 5A-6A, 3A-4A and A-2A) will have an overall champion and a runner-up. Dance teams can compete as coed or all-girl in genres of Jazz, High Kick, Hip Hop and Pom.
Mill Creek enters as a four-time champion (2019 in Class 6A-7A, 2020-2022 in Class 7A) while Starr’s Mill (Class 3A-4A) has won three previous dance titles in Class 5A-6A. Stilwell Arts enters as the defending champion in Class A-2A and will try for its third title, also winning the championship in 2020. In Class 3A-4A, West Laurens enters the competition trying for the program’s third-straight championship.
Alongside 7A champion Mill Creek, teams like Westlake, Buford, Peachtree Ridge, Camden, North Gwinnett, Forsyth Central, Newton County, Lambert, Lowndes, Mountain View, East Coweta, South Forsyth, Parkview, Roswell, Carrollton, Denmark, Brookwood and Hillgrove will contend.
In Class 5A-6A, defending-champion Starr’s Mill has departed and the class, packed with talented programs like Dutchtown, Lakeside-DeKalb, Shiloh, Tri-Cities, Creekside, Allatoona, Banneker, Jefferson, Northside-Warner Robins, Lee County, North Forsyth, McIntosh, Newnan, Etowah, Blessed Trinity and South Paulding, is there for the taking.
CROWDED AT THE TOP
West Laurens carries the distinction of the two-time defending champion, but to capture its third-straight 3A-4A title, it will have to beat a field of contenders including sitting 5A-6A champion Starr’s Mill and 2021 Class A-2A champion Thomasville. Other teams trying for a state championship include Oconee County, East Forsyth, Gilmer, Upson-Lee, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Pike County, Cairo, Ringgold, Savannah Christian, Stephens County, North Oconee, Woodland, Heritage, Seckinger, Whitewater, East Forsyth and Gilmer.
In Class A-2A, Stilwell will try for its third title against a field of competitors trying for a state championship including Murray County, Model, Vidalia, Fannin County, North Murray, East Jackson, Washington County, Barrow, King’s Ridge, Dublin and KIPP.
A LOOK BACK
The event began in 2019 as an invitational at Mount Zion-Jonesboro and completed the 2020 event at Columbus State before becoming an officially sanctioned state championship. The state championships were held at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center in each of the past two seasons before moving to a centralized location in Macon.
Last season, Mill Creek won the Jazz and Pom portions of the competition to win the overall state title in Class 7A with South Forsyth winning the Hip Hop segment to take the runner-up spot. In Class 5A-6A, Starr’s Mill captured the overall 5A-6A title and won the Jazz and Pom segments on the way to victory. Westlake, which won the Hip Hop segment, was runner-up.
In last season’s Class 3A-4A competition, West Laurens won the overall championship with Heritage-Catoosa as the runner-up. Ringgold was named the Hip Hop segment champion, North Oconee won the Jazz segment, Stephens County captured the High Kick event and West Laurens won the Pom competition.
Stilwell Arts won the overall Class A-2A title last year, placing first in the Jazz and Pom segments. Thomasville, the A-2A runner-up, won the High Kick competition and King’s Ridge captured the Hip Hop segment.
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