Local dance teams ready for action at state

MARSHALL – As they hit the dance floor at the Target Center in Minneapolis this weekend, area dance teams plan to give it their all to succeed at state.

In Class AA, Marshall is competing in jazz and kick. Area Class A teams at state are Yellow Medicine East in jazz and kick, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton in jazz and Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd in kick. Jazz teams compete today, and kick teams take the dance floor on Saturday.

YME has been to state in both jazz and kick every year since 1998.

“It’s kind of cool, we’re proud of that record,” said YME coach Chris Nerdahl. Last year, the Silhouettes were third in both jazz and kick at state. Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd was fourth in kick and sixth in jazz last year, and Marshall placed sixth in jazz and seventh in kick.

But you never really know what’s going to happen at state, coaches said.

“It’s different every year,” Nerdahl said.

Coaches said they go into state with certain expectations in mind.

“I guess our main goal is just to try to advance to finals,” Nerdahl said. “We’re hoping to medal in both.” The top six teams from preliminary competition advance to finals.

“We are expecting to perform just as well as we’ve been lately,” said TMB head coach Sheila Fultz. “We feel like we’re peaking at just the right time.”

Marshall head coach Andrea Schneier said Marshall has never made it to finals in kick.

“Our hope every year is to make it in,” Schneier said. “We’ve made a huge jump in our section (in) points.” She said that from the Mounds View competition to sectionals in Waconia, the Marshall kick team has gone up eight points per judge.

“I think right now at this point in the season, we are beating any (kick) score we’ve had in the last four years,” Schneier said.

In jazz, Marshall’s chances are a little more realistic, Schneier said. She’s been keeping track of other teams who have made it to state.

“It will still be tough, it won’t be a given by any means,” Schneier said.

In Class A, TMB will go up against state perennial state qualifier YME in jazz. Fultz said it’s one of those things you don’t let cross your mind as you’re on the dance floor.

And even though YME’s been to state consistently for 15 years, Nerdahl said her girls still get a little anxious.

“I think they always do a little better when they’re nervous,” Nerdahl said. But it’s a good case of nerves, she added.

Fultz said it was TMB’s ambition to make it to state again, with the last time being two years ago. She said she has girls who were part of that team from two years ago and newbies who have never been to state.

“They’re really, really excited, they’re looking forward to it (the competition),” Fultz said. “They can gel really well as a team.”

Schneier said her team has improved a lot this season.

“Even if we don’t get to finals, just knowing we’re growing (as a team), that’s good,” Schneier said. “That gets you better and to that ultimate goal of winning state.”