Giving it their all

MARSHALL – Being the defending state champs in Class A for dance team was a little nerve-wracking for the Yellow Medicine East Silhouettes, but they managed to pull out a win this weekend at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

YME won the championship in jazz and placed second in high kick in Class A at the 2014 State Girls Dance Team Tournament. Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd took fourth in high kick for Class A. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton placed sixth in jazz for Class A. Marshall placed 10th in high kick for Class AA.

“They’re just a hard-working group of girls,” YME head coach Chris Nerdahl said about her team.

TMB head coach Sheila Fultz said it was the first time the jazz team had broken into finals.

“The prelims were pretty good for us,” Fultz said. “We were kind of biting our nails to see if we made finals. The girls were over the moon.”

LQPV/D-B head coach Lisa Johnson said her team had one goal in mind on Saturday.

“We wanted to make finals, and that was our biggest goal,” she said. “We danced really well and were able to make it to finals.”

Marshall dance team co-captain Taryn Rathman said competition was pretty tough this year.

“It was really close between each team,” Rathman said. “Judging was all over the place this season.”

Nerdahl said that her jazz team was in second place after the preliminaries.

“It was a little bit stressful, they were nervous,” Nerdahl said about the jazz team dancers. “It’s always hard to defend a state title.” YME had won state champion in jazz last year.

“They were very, very close to first,” Nerdahl added. “We decided to go out there and have a good time and let it go.”

So the YME jazz team did just that – let it all go as it was the team’s last time performing that particular routine, Nerdahl said.

“It was definitely their best performance of the year,” Nerdahl said. “Their formations were on, their turn combos…”

Fultz said her team was composed

“The girls were a little more relaxed and enjoyed the moment,” Fultz said.

Both Fultz and Nerdahl said that Class A is tough.

“There’s a lot of good teams in Class A,” Nerdahl said. With dance team websites and blogs, teams are able to track how others are doing throughout the season, she said, but YME didn’t know what to expect at state with the scores and averages.

2008 was the last time the YME high kick team won the state championship in Class A. The past two years, the team has gotten third place, Nerdahl said.

“To come in second was really good,” Nerdahl said.

When the LQPV/D-B team saw the scores and realized it was a point out of third place, the girls were pretty excited, Johnson said.

“We told the girls they had to do their very best and step it up a little,” Johnson said.

And the LQPV/D-B team was happy with the results, Johnson said.

“The last two years, we got fifth, so we were pretty happy with fourth,” Johnson said.

Rathman said it was the fifth year in a row that Marshall got to dance at state.

“It was a really good experience, we were just happy to have the experience to dance at the Target Center,” Rathman said. “We easily had the best and loudest fans. I can’t stress enough how much our fans and parents supported us throughout the year.”

And even though Marshall didn’t get the placement it was looking for, Rathman said the team was happy as to how well it did.

“Our coaches are proud of us,” Rathman said. “It was fun for the last time for the seniors to dance with the team.”

Fultz and Nerdahl said they were pleased with how things turned out at state competition.

“I’m just very, very proud how they represented the team and the school and to come out with a result like that was just right,” Fultz said.

“It’s an amazing way to wrap up a season,” Nerdahl said about YME’s success at state. “It’s really nice to have a final bonding moment with the seniors.” After the last performance, it was hard to get the dancers off the floor, Nerdahl said, as they were so emotional, hugging and crying.