Cindy Clough remembers that in 1975 as a high school junior she wished Brainerd High School offered danceline.
"A teacher took us down to see the first state high school danceline competition that spring," Clough said this week. "I fell in love with it.
"So I was very excited the next fall when it was announced they'd have danceline."
Clough, the current Brainerd High School danceline coach, was on the first team. And she has helped or coached the Kixters ever since.
Now the Kixters are in full swing with their fall performance season, marking the 25th anniversary of the Brainerd High School Dance Team program, which began in October 1975 under the direction of Georgia Lyscio.
In 1996 the Minnesota State High School League took dance team under its umbrella, designating two seasons, a fall performance season and a winter competitive season, and changing the name to competitive dance team (rather than danceline).
The purpose of the fall season is to promote school spirit and support school events. The Kixters have already performed at two football games and will dance at the school homecoming pep fest Sept. 28. The band will perform at the halftime of the homecoming game, which gives the dance team the night off. On Oct. 13, the Kixters, along with Just For Kix dancers in grades 2-9, will present a mass halftime performance at the Warriors football game.
Captains this fall are Kate Holden and Lindsey Kephart. The team has one of the strongest senior groups it has ever had with 21 seniors.
There are 90 dancers out for the fall season, the highest number in the history of the program. Coaches are watching the team daily and will divide it into two groups, a varsity precision kick team that will be composed totally of girls in grades 10-12 and a junior varsity precision kick team that will be mostly girls in grades 10-12, with the exception of a few ninth-graders who will be brought up to round the team out.
A jazz funk team also will be selected and it will be composed of girls in grades 9-12. Jazz Funk captain is Kristen Terrio.
Tryouts will be held Tuesday in the Brainerd High School lounge. Dancers can call Coach Clough for details at 829-7107.
The competitive season will begin Nov. 6 and will run through the state competition Feb. 23 and 24. Dance team qualifying sections will be Feb. 17. The Kixters' annual holiday shows will be at 5:30 and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the BHS Gym. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens and free for children 5 and under. The Kixters will host a large scale competition Saturday, Dec. 9, which will bring in many of the top teams from around the state.
Varsity head coach is Clough, varsity assistant is Carrie Kavanaugh, junior varsity head coach is Brenda Jillson and junior varsity assistant is Stephanie Jacobi.
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