IHSA dance competition brings business to Bloomington

By Alyssa Donovan

January 26, 2013 Updated Jan 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.-- The IHSA dance state finals brought thousands of movers and shakers to the U.S. Cellular Coliseum this weekend.

This is the first year the Illinois High School Association is recognizing dance as a competitive sport, and the venue is embracing that move.

Coliseum Event Manager Phil Charleston said, "I believe we have a five-year contract. So, this is the first year of that contract and we'd love to keep them long term."

Which means a few more years of good R&B, rhythm and business, in the twin cities.

Event organizers say this kind of competition strikes a chord with the whole region.

"We think it's great for the entire community. It brings in a tremendous amount of traffic to everything from gas stations to restaurants," said Charleston. "Everybody benefits in the community from this kind of event."

"The hotels are all booked obviously and all the parents are coming down here and staying," said IHSA Intern Megan Lawler.

Everyone from parents and siblings, to teachers and principals, and then some.

IHSA Assistant Executive Director Tracie Henry said, "We have close to 2,000 dancers coming in and out this weekend and we would estimate that each of them would potentially bring about four guests a piece."

Each guest pays the $10.00 admission fee.

More of that kind of team spirit will flood the town again, as the coliseum hosts the IHSA Cheerleading State Finals next weekend.

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