Dancing with the Northern Stars


Story by Kaia Monaco – Assistant Editor

   Every year, the Northern Stars Dance Team hosts the LSN Dance Invitational, a regional dance competition where schools from across the midwest come to compete. 

   “The dance invitational is a regional dance competition that we have been hosting for 25 years…It helps teams in preparation for the state competition,” Shelley McCain, head coach, said. 

   The competition takes place over two days: the night of Friday, Jan. 21 and all day Saturday, Jan. 22. Individual routines will be performed Friday night, while team routines will be performed Saturday. 

   “We have 63 teams attending.  We have 180 performances on Friday night and about 150 performances on Saturday,” McCain said. “It’s a pretty huge event.”

  As hosts, the Northern Stars Dance Team has many responsibilities they must take care of to ensure the event runs smoothly. 

   “[The Northern Stars] create and sell merchandise, we run the concessions, we make the schedules, we order the trophies, everything.  We do it all,” McCain said. 

   The event takes weeks to prepare, as the dance teams competing had to register back in December. However, no time is as busy as the day of the competition itself. 

   “I do all the prep before, behind the scenes.  Mrs. Underwood designs the t-shirts and programs for us and works the competition as well,” McCain said. “Then on the day of the contest, my assistants, Mrs. Underwood, my team, and our parents all work together to pull off this incredible event.”

   This will be the 25th year Lee’s Summit North has hosted this event. The competition is quite well-known in Kansas City and surrounding areas, and always brings in a great deal of money for the dance team. 

   “We first hosted the competition 25 years ago to provide a quality contest on the Kansas City side of the state.  We have a reputation for being one of the most well-organized and largest competitions in Kansas City,” McCain said. 

   Despite how tiring it can be, the dance invitational is one of the team’s favorite events of the year.

   “I love organizing and being part of something that everyone looks forward to every year.  It’s my baby,” McCain said. 



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