Whatever it takes is the motto of the Brainerd High School dance team this week as it prepares for sectionals Saturday in Maple Grove.
The Warriors are practicing three hours a day this week and adjusting to several changes. Head Coach Cindy Clough made changes in the high kick routine the Kixters will be performing at sectionals. The Kixters have danced this routine only once in competition.
"The routine hasn't come together as easily as it has in the past," said Clough. "I think we'll be prepared, but if we need more practice we'll add more hours at the end of the week."
Spring break -- Brainerd students don't have classes this week -- has been an advantage for the Kixters. The high school gymnasium has been available for the dance team practices. Usually, the team practices in the student lounge.
"It allows us to feel more rested with spring break and we don't have as many distractions," said Clough. "When we practice in a smaller area our routine is off ... This gives us more quality time in practice."
The dancers also are working hard this week on keeping their energy level up in order to score high on presentation, said Clough.
After practice, Clough spends a few hours reviewing the videotape of the practice and looking for glitches.
In Section AAA, Clough said the toughest teams to beat in both high kick and jazz will be Maple Grove, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Champlin Park and St. Cloud Technical. Other teams competing will be Moorhead, Elk River, Bemidji, Forest Lake, Osseo, Anoka and Centennial.
The top four teams in each division will advance to state competition Feb. 27-28 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Clough said she is confident the Kixters will place in the top four in high kick. In jazz, she hopes to take fourth place. She said several teams will fight for fourth and it will be the luck of the draw.
Brainerd placed second in sections last year in high kick.
Kati Hilborn, one of three captains, said she knows what to expect at sectionals and said Brainerd will do well. Hilborn, a senior, has been stretching out more, working extra hard in practice and going through the dance on her own time to prepare for sectionals.
Captain Quincy Vincent said she listens to a tape of the song and mentally goes through the routine.
Tara Hegstad, a captain, said she is working hard on all the changes that have been made to the routine.
"I really hope to make the top four in both (kick and jazz) and that we have our best performance that we have ever had," she said.
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