South Forsyth Dance Team Hip-Hops into 1st Place


Used with permission from the South Forsyth High School Dance Team

A memorable win. South Forsyth’s Dance Team takes the GHSA state championship by a storm. The team placed 2nd overall in the much-anticipated competition.

Shivani Murugapiran, Staff Writer

On Saturday, February 12, South Forsyth High School’s dance team scored a monumental win at the 7A GHSA state championship. The War Eagles finished 2nd in 7A Pom, 1st in Hip Hop, and 2nd overall at state.

The persistent efforts of these talented dancers propelled their journey through the competition. Captain Susanna Yonk and co-Captains Hadley Fajardo and Emma Cosson led the team with incredible skill and passion.

As a senior, I have been lucky enough to see the growth of this team from the first season in 2018. I am so proud of this team and all their hard work! We are walking away as a 3rd-year Hip Hop State Champion team, and we couldn’t have had a more exciting season!

— Susanna Yonk

The dance team has a variety of performance events, with their state competition being the most important. South’s junior varsity dance team competes in pom routines while the varsity team performs both pom and hip-hop routines at several events throughout the year. Notably, dancers showcase competition dances at basketball games and various invitationals. The team also performs as sideline dancers at football games and other game-day competitions.

The icing on the cake, however, is the high-stakes that the dancers face at the GHSA State competition.

“Preparation for state is always very intense,” says senior dancer Audrey Belue. “You have to be all in and dedicated to wake up at 5 A.M. for practice multiple times a week.”

Far before the sun rises, the team is already well into their strenuous morning practices. Dancers generally meet twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays in addition to occasional Fridays. Each practice starts with a group warmup followed by cleaning, running, and fine-tuning their routines. Every minute of practice is crucial in developing a successful dance, and the varsity dancers proved that “practice makes perfect” at the state championship.

Senior dancer Gracie Eastin said, “The week before state, our team really focused on eating full meals, getting good sleep every night, and hydrating, along with practice of course.”

The team continued to rerun and adjust their dance until the week of state, practicing with increasing frequency and intensity. Their hard work, dedication, and efforts most certainly paid off as they returned to South with a gold medal.

Captain Susanna Yonk could not be prouder of the team after looking back on the season.

“This season was amazing to say the least!” emphasized Yonk. “This group of student-athletes have worked so incredibly hard and are so talented. We were undefeated in Hip Hop this season, marking 2 years of an undefeated hip hop routine. We also grew exponentially in our pom routine, increasing our difficulty and overall score throughout the season.”

But for anyone who has seen these dancers together, it is their unbreakable bond that stands out most. The team’s unique friendship and ease with one another have only grown in these past years.

Belue also shares her favorite part of being on the dance team as a senior.

“The relationship we have with each other is [my favorite part],” said Belue. “We are all like sisters and have gotten so close. Taking the floor with these girls is such an amazing feeling I will never forget.”

South is beyond proud of what the varsity dance team has accomplished this year. As many of the members graduate this year and new dancers join next year, the spirit of the team will forever remain strong.