The Huntington Highsteppers never fail to lift the spirits of their audience. That long tradition of upbeat performances is sure to continue this fall.
The Highsteppers are Huntington High School’s competitive dance team. Known for its hip shows, the current group will make its public debut during halftime of the Blue Devil football team’s game on Saturday, September 17.
Coached by Paige Tyree and Jessica Harris, the Highsteppers are captained by seniors Christi Reinertsen, Magenta Lopez and Kelsey Miller and junior Bethany Danziger.
The Highsteppers have been practicing since the beginning of August when the team participated in a two-day training camp for their dancers at Variations, a local dance studio owned by Ms. Lopez’s family. “This is when we learned the dance for our first football game,” Ms. Miller said.
The four team captains are joined by high energy dancers Nicole Sevilla, Casey Moskowitz, Jamie Spector, Sophia Ornato, Charlotte Brosoff, Kaitlyn Smith, Sophia LaCentra, Casey Smith, Brooke Cafiero, Vennyse Green, Bella Thompson, Mia Redick, Livia D’Anna, Courtney McCloud, Aniya Richardson and Lauren LoScalzo. Senior Ally Arleo is the Highsteppers’ team manager.
“Last week we began official practice for the pep rally/homecoming as well as fundraising for our trip to nationals in February to Orlando, Florida,” Ms. Miller said. “Our fundraisers include car washes and multiple bake sales throughout the year.”
The team’s coaches are pleased with the progress the dancers are making. “The girls are working hard on their pep rally and homecoming routines,” Ms. Tyree said. “The captains took a lot of initiative this summer as far as choreography and fundraising, so we’re already ahead of the game.”
The Highsteppers will perform at the high school pep rally on Friday, September 30 and the following afternoon at halftime of the Homecoming Day football game on Saturday, October 1. The squad is also expected to march in the Homecoming Day parade as it makes its way through Huntington Village and up New York Avenue.
“The Highsteppers’ season is off to great start,” Ms. Lopez said. “We began practices in the middle of August in preparation for our performances at the football games and the homecoming game. In November we will begin preparing for our basketball game performances as well as the competitive season. We plan to compete in three regional competitions in the winter and the nationals in February. This year, we are excited to be attending a new national’s competition called Dance Team Union. It will still be held in Orlando Florida just like previous years.”
The Highsteppers will feature eight new dancers this year. “The new members this year are great additions to our team,” Ms. Lopez said. “I am so excited, yet also nostalgic about my senior year of highstepping. It is a great group of girls led by amazing coaches Paige Tyree and Jessica Harris. We’re looking forward to an awesome year!”
Regional competitions will be held at Nassau Community College. The Highsteppers are well aware that the nationals sponsored by the Dance Team Union will feature the best of the best. “This company is very competitive and highly regarded, so we look forward to bringing our ‘A’ game,” Ms. Tyree said.
The Highsteppers are bonding together as one unit as members masters their routines. “The team is coming together really well this year,” Ms. Danziger said. “We had summer practices where we began preparing for homecoming and other football games. Later in the year we have three regional competitions and a trip to nationals. At the competitions we will be competing in four categories: pom, kick and jazz and team performance. We plan on learning those dances within the next few months. We’re very confident in the new team and excited to see how we will do this year!