Meritt Rittenhouse signs to Dance at McKendree University after graduation. Meritt is seated between her parents Nathan and Angie Rittenhouse. Standing: NCHS Principal Mark Begando, Nick Krummrich, McKendree Dance Coach Sara Miller, NCHS Athletic Director Alicia Heggemeier, NCHS Stingers Coach Carly Middleton, and NCHS Stingers Assistant Coach Alyssa Lohman.
Another member of the NCHS Stingers dance team, will be dancing at the college level after graduation. NCHS Senior Meritt Rittenhouse signed to dance at McKendree University after graduation. Meritt is the second Stinger to sign this year, Emma Vogt signed with Missouri Baptist.
Rittenhouse said she chose McKendree Unviersity because, “I chose McKendree because I heard that it is a really good school to go to, and I’m really excited. I really wanted to dance and am excited to be on the dance team.”
Rittenhouse has been a steady force on the Stingers dance team throughout her time at NCHS. Rittenhouse was a part of a very successful era for the NCHS Stingers. This past year, Rittenhouse was one of six seniors on the Stingers. The Stingers advanced to the IHSA State Dance Final. To get to State the Stingers finished sixth at the Mascoutah Regional. The Stingers also competed at the IDTA State Finals this year on February 10.
Rittenhouse decided around November that she wanted to continue to dance after she graduated from NCHS. Rittenhouse said, “I chose McKendree because I heard that it is a really good school to go to, and I’m really excited. I really wanted to dance and am excited to be on the dance team.”
NCHS coach Carly Middleton says McKendree couldn’t ask for a better recruit. “Meritt has been a huge help to the program. Not only is she a really hard worker, she is a great leader for the girls and a great friend to them. She’s super hardworking, caring and they couldn’t find a better girl.”
Middleton went on to talk about what Rittenhouse may have to work on at the next level. “To the next level, just with technique, she is flexible in everything she does. She has improved so much in this just this past year, I can’t wait to see what she will do in college.” Middleton then added, “It just kind of depends on the kind of choreography her coach gives her, what kind of style they do, but she can conquer anything.”
Rittenhouse says she thinks the biggest adjustment will be to just learn to dance with a new group of girls.
As for what she will miss at NCHS, Rittenhouse pointed to dancing during the home basketball games, at Assembly Hall.“I’ll miss dancing here every Friday night, I really loved dancing during the basketball games.”
While at McKendree, Rittenhouse plans to study health and wellness, and eventually plans to go into Nursing.