The Brainerd High School Kixters placed fourth out of 12 of Minnesota's top AAA dance teams Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Brainerd danced seventh in the lineup at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.
"Our afternoon performance was disappointing," said coach Cindy Clough. "We looked nervous and had several mistakes. Our music speed was wrong and it really affected nerves as well as kicks coming down together. The technician locked in our speed and it didn't allow us to change it midway, which we usually do about three times during the dance. With our poor performance we were worried we would not make finals. When the top six finalists were announced we were among them, and the team was jubilant to have a second chance."
The team practiced in small groups and pepped each other up. It got to be a long day for the teams since the girls entered the arena for the first time at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and finally left at 9 p.m., said Clough.
The goal of the team members was to redeem themselves and dance as well as they knew they could, Clough said, adding lines were straight, circles were round, files were straight, kicks looked beautiful and the energy was there.
"It was a great feeling to know that you couldn't have danced any better," said Clough. "It makes it a bit harder to come in fourth, however. When you're standing out on the floor and third and second have been announced, and you know you had a super performance, it's only natural to be hoping for that No. 1 spot," said Clough.
State champion for the third year in a row was Burnsville. Apple Valley placed second, Wayzata placed third and Brainerd placed fourth. Coon Rapids received fifth place and Mounds View placed sixth.
Brainerd was one of the few teams to be awarded the Academic Excellence Award with the team members having a grade-point average of 3.25 or higher. This is the second year in a row that the Brainerd Kixters have won this award. Lauren Doysher was selected as Academic All State. To receive this award a dancer must be a senior, have a GPA of 3.8 or higher, and her team must go to state.
Coaches for the Kixters are Cindy Clough and Carrie Kavanaugh. Junior varsity coaches are Jenny Klecatsky and Trina Erickson. Varsity captains are Conny Vincent and Lauren Doyscher.
Scoring results were Burnsville: kick technique, 146; presentation, 145; execution, 137; choreography, 147; difficulty, 144; total, 719; rank, 5; Apple Valley: kick technique, 139; presentation, 143; execution, 133; choreography, 141, difficulty, 140; total, 696; rank, 11; Wayzata: kick technique, 142; presentation, 146; execution, 137; choreography, 138; difficulty, 134; total, 697; rank, 14; Brainerd: kick technique, 127; presentation, 130; execution, 121; choreography, 140; difficulty, 131; total, 649; rank, 23.
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