Area dance teams have good showing at state

MARSHALL – One local dance team became state champions in jazz, while a couple of other teams just missed making finals.

The Yellow Medicine East dance team took first in jazz and third in kick in Class A at the 2013 State Girls’ Dance Team Tournament this weekend at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd received fifth in kick in Class A. Marshall placed seventh in kick and eighth in jazz for Class AA, and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton got seventh for jazz in Class A.

It was the fifth title overall for YME in jazz. Ashley Vikander, one of YME’s assistant dance coaches, said it was an exciting day.

“We were all very surprised, it was very nerve-wracking,” Vikander said. “It was tons of tears and smiles, and it was great.” Vikander, who is in her third year on the coaching staff, was also on the YME dance team when she was in high school.

LQPV/D-B coach Niki Strand was proud of her team.

“We had a great performance in finals and knew it was very tough competition, so we were happy to make it into the top six and be on the floor with so many talented teams,”?Strand said.

Marshall dance team co-captain Marissa Schroeder said she thought state competition went well despite the fact that the team didn’t break finals.

“It was different than what we planned,” Schroeder said, adding that some of the AA teams that improved quite a bit and took Marshall by surprise.

TMB coach Sheila Fultz said her team did well against the other Class A teams.

“It was an amazing experience,” Fultz said. “The girls had so much fun. They performed super-well.”

There were some emotions and tears among the TMB dancers, Fultz said.

“But they can hold their heads up really high, that they left their best on the floor,” Fultz said.

Schroeder said the atmosphere at state was a little more relaxed and easygoing.

“We definitely bonded more beforehand,” Schroeder said.

The TMB team stuck around Saturday to see the kick competition. Fultz said her younger dancers were already brainstorming for next year and ending that close to finals lit a fire under them.

“I had a really fantastic group of varsity dancers,” Fultz said.

On Saturday, the YME kick team didn’t really know what to expect, Vikander said.

“It was a toss-up,” Vikander said. “We had a lot of good teams in the top six, it could go any way, we were thinking.”

Vikander said it was a good way for YME to end a successful season.

“It was awesome to medal in both,” Vikander said.