Local Dance Teams to Dance on New Year's Eve

By WEEK Reporter

December 29, 2010 Updated Dec 29, 2010 at 8:38 PM CDT

The East Peoria High School dance team, the Raiderettes, are going out of state for a competition, but the Raiders aren't playing.

The team is dancing in the NCAA Liberty Bowl halftime show on New Year's Eve.

Erica Reinhart was a Raiderette when she attended East Peoria High School just a few years ago. And now, she's taking her Raiderettes to the stage.

"I'm ready for it, they're ready for it. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," Reinhart said.

The team will show off their moves at a parade on Thursday before the Liberty Bowl on Friday, which will be televised on ESPN at 2:30 Central Time.

Reinhart has been instructing the dance team for the past two years.

She heard they could dance in a college game, and wanted to take her team to the next step.

"I made a few phone calls, kind of laid things out, looked at money and what it was going to cost us," Reinhart remarked.

It's going to cost them about $12,000 to stay in Memphis for three days.

About $2,000 was donated from the Booster Club, Cheerleader squad and Band Boosters.

The remaining $10,000 was earned through fund raisers by the Raiderettes with the same virtue that's taking them to Memphis.

Hard work.

"Getting to say after we're done, I got to do this when I was in high school," Raiderette Alex Roberts said.

"It's kind of like a last hurrah-type thing. To be seniors, its going to be fun to go down there with my team," said fellow dancer Tiffany McCarthy.

"And let everyone know that we can do this, and I'm really excited to perform at the game. Especially the game," remarked Raiderette Taylor Schofield.

The Raiderettes are rehearsing their routine to a DVD choreographed by Mandy Moore.

They'll meet the superstar in Memphis where they'll perform with about 300 other dancers from all over the nation.

Reinhart says she's as proud to lead her team in Tennessee as she is to be a part of their success here at home.

"She connects so well with us and she helps us and she'll dance with us sometimes and practice and we just bond really well," Schofield said.

"What I'm hoping to bring to this program is continuity and kind of broadening the horizons to something they wouldn't be able to do otherwise," Reinhart said.

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