NAPERVILLE NORTH HOSTS GLEE-STYLE SONG AND DANCE COMPETITION

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Naperville North High School almost had a Broadway feel to it Saturday as the school hosted Clash of the Sequins, a 12-hour-plus song-and-dance competition featuring 14 show choirs from 10 high schools and four states.

The idea for a song-and-dance competition was first broached about five years ago but needed the blessing of Nicholas Janssen, the school's musical director and fine arts instructional coordinator, who was reluctant at first, co-chair Anita Mraz said.

"The idea started after a number of parents and their kids were going to various competitions...," Mraz said. "We shadowed other groups, and we kept pushing until he said yes."

Janssen said he got on board about a year ago thanks to "an amazing community of parents who researched and presented such a great proposal, there was no way to say no."

"We've gotten great feedback about our event today," Janssen said. "I think we resolved a number of issues or flaws our parents have seen elsewhere, including having everything on one level and people not climbing stairs as well as having a venue with higher standards to make kids feel their best."

"There is a real family environment here, and we literally laugh and cry together every day," (Naperville North's Axel Hage) said. "I've done about nine shows so far, and the things I've learned are to live in the moment — the support system here is bigger than I could imagine — and you need to perform each time like it's your last."