They’re shooting for the top and they plan to hold nothing back.
The Brainerd Warriors dance team is ready to put its game on Friday and Saturday when it competes in the Minnesota State High School League Class 3A Dance Team Tournament at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Jazz competition is scheduled Friday and high kick competition will be held Saturday. The top 12 teams in the state will compete in each division. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Adults are $14 and students $9.
Preliminary competition for Class 3A begins at 2:15 p.m. where all 12 teams perform. Judges then determine which six teams will advance to finals. These six teams compete at 7:15 p.m. for the championship.
“We’re feeling really good,” Warriors coach Cindy Clough said. “In our kick routine we feel we’re in a great position ...We’re really hoping to hit the top three, but we’re going for first place.
“We think this season has been one of our most successful seasons. We won two huge meets this year where we competed against some big schools. The kids are really going for it.”
The Warriors have qualified each year for the past 37 years for state in high kick, except two. Brainerd qualified for the state jazz competition six times.
Even though Brainerd has been a powerhouse in kick at state, Clough said about half of the girls on the team have never competed at state. Clough said the girls have mentally been working on getting their nerves under control and are ready to compete on the big floor.
Dancers have been working on their energy, expression and fine tuning their kick routine, making sure their kicks are tight and timed right.
There will be 24 girls competing in kick to “Let’s Get Glam,” a routine mix of vogue and glam.
“We love our dance,” said Clough. “We have a great dance and we’re trying to get it as sharp as we can. We practiced a few times this week at the (Central Lakes College) gym that has a floor closer to the size of the Target Center. We don’t want to overshoot our routine so space is important.”
Clough said the team also plans to practice Friday and Saturday around the tournament schedule in a gym at a community college near Target Center. Clough said it will be good practice before they have to compete.
Last year Brainerd took sixth place in kick.
The order of performance in kick will be St. Cloud Tech, Burnsville, Eagan, Hopkins, Blaine, Spring Lake Park, Wayzata, Centennial, Eden Prairie, Eastview, Brainerd and Apple Valley.
In jazz, Clough said the goal is to make the top six. Fifteen dancers will perform “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
“Placing in the top six is a tough goal because there are so many good teams in jazz,” said Clough. “But our routine is up there and we’ve really landed our turns. It we continue to perform like we have we’ll do fine.”
Earlier in the season, the Warriors were disqualified for their jazz routine, but took third place at the section meet. Clough said this season has been difficult to understand. She said at the conference meets the jazz team placed lower than expected and at the invitationals and at sections, where there were tougher teams competing, Brainerd scored at the higher end.
“This was mentally tough on our girls,” Clough said of when Brainerd scored lower than expected. “It made them feel that they were not as good as they thought they were. It screwed with their minds. But we all feel good about the dance and are ready to go.”
The order of performance in jazz will be Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Blaine, Lakeville North, Wayzata, St. Cloud Tech, Spring Lake Park, Eagan, Brainerd, Maple Grove, Centennial and Eastview.
Aitkin, C-I to
compete at state
The Aitkin and Crosby-Ironton dance teams will compete in the Class 1A jazz funk and high kick divisions.