The high school's pom squad (think halftime dancers with pom-poms) has qualified for the Illinois Drill Team Association's state championship and is looking to improve on last year's second-place finish in the AA Division.
Coach Katie Walsh admits she's done some YouTube scouting in advance of the event and thinks her group of teens has as good a shot as any at the title.
"I actually think that they stand out a lot with their musicality," Walsh said. "They hit every beat in their music."
The students choreograph their own routines and will be performing to a medley of songs by Maddona, Beyonce, Britney Spears and others.
Judges will be taking note of any special moves, like the squad creating shapes with its poms, and technique, including timing and degree of difficulty.
Though the Northside squad doesn't have any acrobatic stunts in its bag of tricks, Walsh said the jumps and turns "have gotten so much more difficult" in recent years.
"There's a lot of athleticism," she said, while at the same time poms also gives the girls an outlet for artistic expression. "Dance should be looked at as an athletic art."
Due to a scheduling quirk, should Northside take first place, most of the squad won't be around to collect the trophy.
At previous competitions, results were announced at 6 p.m., Walsh explained, giving the team plenty of time to make it back to Chicago at a decent hour. But on Saturday, squads won't learn their fate until 9 p.m., at which point Walsh and the majority of her charges will be long gone.
"A few parents are going to stay," she said. "We're going to have them Facetime the ceremony."