DANCE TEAM: Warriors, C-I, Aitkin head to state | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

DANCE TEAM: Warriors, C-I, Aitkin head to state

Posted: February 14, 2013 - 11:36pm
The Brainerd Warriors dance team, the Kixters, celebrates their third-place finish in jazz at the Section 4-3A tournament. Brainerd will compete in the 3A state tournament Friday and Saturday in jazz and high kick.
The Brainerd Warriors dance team, the Kixters, celebrates their third-place finish in jazz at the Section 4-3A tournament. Brainerd will compete in the 3A state tournament Friday and Saturday in jazz and high kick.

The Brainerd Warriors dance team the Kixters, Aitkin All-Starz and Crosby-Ironton Rangerettes hope to add to their traditions when they compete in the state dance team tournament Friday and Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Brainerd has won eight state championships, its last in Class 3A high kick competition in 1999. The Warriors will compete in 3A jazz Friday and 3A high kick Saturday. They finished third in high kick last year.

Aitkin, a 6-time state champion, competes in 1A jazz and high kick and is the defending champion in both events. C-I, a 3-time state champion, qualified for state in 1A jazz.

Brainerd coach Cindy Clough is anxious for the state tournament to begin.

“We feel ready and just need the weekend to get here,” she said. “We dance third both days, which is kind of nice as it will be consistent for planning purposes.

“We like dancing early for nerve reasons. At sections, we danced early in kick but last in jazz and it makes for a long day. Once the girls are done, they can relax and watch. When you are last, you are on edge all day so we are fine with dancing third.”

Clough said the Warriors are confident of making the finals in kick, and hopefully finish in the top three.

“We’re shooting for No. 1 of course,” she said. “We have come out ahead of every team that will be at state who we have competed against, except for Maple Grove. We had a bad day that day, so we’re pretty sure we can rebound against them.

“We have not competed against Eastview or Burnsville all year and we know they have been strong, so we will have our work cut out for us. Once you get to state, everyone is great. It comes down to details and little things. Usually the points are very close.

“We feel we have a really strong routine and have performed it a lot so we feel ready. Costumes are not judged, but I do feel they enhance our routine this year.”

In jazz, Clough said the Warriors believe they are the best prepared they have ever been for state.

“We are going to work our hardest to make the top six finals,” she said. “The highest we have placed thus far is eighth in the state. We feel we have the strongest jazz team we’ve ever had and our routine is very well choreographed, so we’re going for it and we’ll see where we land.

“I feel the strong jazz teams will be Maple Grove, Wayzata, Eastview, and Hopkins. We hope to make it into the top six as we are up there.”

■ Dance team tournament

Friday, Feb. 15 — Jazz

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Class 1A Qualifying Competition

1:15 p.m. Class 1A Finalists Announced

2-4:15 p.m. Classes 2A and 3A Qualifying Competition

4:30 p.m. Class 2A Finalists Announced

4:45 p.m. Class 3A Finalists Announced

5:30 p.m. Class 1A Finals and Awards Presentations

7:15 p.m. Classes 2A and 3A Finals and Awards Presentations

Saturday, Feb. 16 — High Kick

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Class 1A Qualifying Competition

1:15 p.m. Class 1A Finalists Announced

2:00-4:15 p.m. Classes 2A and 3A Qualifying Competition

4:30 p.m. Class 2A Finalists Announced

4:45 p.m. Class 3A Finalists Announced

5:30 p.m. Class 1A Finals and Awards Presentations

7:15 p.m. Classes 2A and 3A Finals and Awards Presentations

■ High Kick division

Class 3A Qualifiers

Apple Valley, Eastview, Burnsville, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Chanhassen, Henry Sibley, Eagan, Spring Lake Park, St. Cloud Tech, Blaine, Brainerd

Class 1A Qualifiers

Lake City, Cannon Falls, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, Dover-Eyota, Aitkin, Duluth Marshall, Yellow Medicine East, Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd, BOLD, Pelican Rapids, Bagley, Frazee.

■ Jazz division

Class 3A Qualifiers

Eastview, Prior Lake, Burnsville, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Hopkins, Eagan, Spring Lake Park, Forest Lake, St. Cloud Tech, Blaine, Brainerd

Class 1A Qualifiers

Cannon Falls, St. Charles, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, Duluth Marshall, Aitkin, Mayer Lutheran, Yellow Medicine East, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, Renville County West, Pelican Rapids, Frazee, Crosby-Ironton.