Area dance teams earn tickets to state

A season of hard work paid off for area dance teams during section competition this weekend. Dancers from Yellow Medicine East and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton will be among those headed to the state tournament Feb. 15-16 in Minneapolis.

“It went very well,” said YME coach Chris Nerdahl. The YME Silhouettes were named champions in both the jazz and kick divisions at the Section 3A tournament Saturday in Montevideo.

“We’ve had a really good season. The girls worked very hard, and we increased the difficulty of our routines this year,” Nerdahl said. However, the competition at sections was still intense, she said. “We didn’t have any idea what was going to happen.”

The YME dance team has been slowly rebuilding in the past couple of years, she said. With girls who joined the team in junior high now making up an experienced group in their sophomore and junior years of high school, things are really shaping up.

“The girls have been feeling really confident over the last couple of years,” Nerdahl said, and hopefully that confidence will help them do their best.

The TMB jazz dancers are also hoping to end their season on a high note at state, after winning second place in sections.

“We were super-pleased with how they performed,” said head coach Sheila Fultz. Competition at sections was “neck and neck” among certain schools, and the TMB team rose to the occasion.

“It was the goal for a lot of my veteran dancers to advance as far as they could this season,” Fultz said, and hopefully that will include the competition at state. “And for some of the younger dancers, it will be a fantastic experience.”

Renville County West placed third in the jazz division and will also be going to state. In the high kick division, Lac Qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd placed second, and BOLD placed third.