For the first time in school history the Becker Bulldog dance team has won their section tournament.
This will be the third consecutive year the team advances to the state tournament, but it will be their first as section champs.
At the beginning of the week senior captain Hannah Oakes challenged the team.
“I told the team it was all or nothing,” Oakes said, “Each girl gave it everything they had and earned it all.”
It was a unanimous victory at ROCORI High School, as all eight judges ranked the Bulldogs first in both Kick and Jazz. Out of 10 scoring categories in each, Becker received the top score in nine of them. The team won the Kick competition by 34 points and outdid themselves with a 47-point margin in Jazz.
Coaches Nadia Fischer-Danzeisen, Mel VanHofwegen, and Rhi Edwards-Lieberman spoke highly of the team’s preparation and dedication to their craft and to each other.
“The team has worked hard all season to prepare for this moment, both mentally and physically,” Edward-Lieberman said, “This is by far the most prepared team of athletes we’ve ever had heading into the section tournament, and it shows. We can’t wait to see what the next two weeks has in store as we prepare for the state tournament!”
Despite the success the team has enjoyed recently, the magnitude of this accomplishment is not lost on the team.
“It’s very surreal that we’ve finally accomplished this huge milestone of a goal,” head coach Fischer-Danzeisen said, “I’m very honored to be a part of the school’s history and to be entrusted with helping these athletes reach new heights!”
There are still even higher heights for the team to reach at the state tournament. Twelve teams reach the preliminary round, but only six advance to the finals. The Bulldogs have never reached the finals as last year’s eighth place finish in the preliminary round was the highest in their two trips, but senior captain Ava Holm seems to believe they can improve on that this year.
After the section competition Holm said, “I feel extremely confident and excited going into state knowing there is no other team or coaches that I would want to do it with!”
“At the begining of this week, I told the team it was all or nothing”, said Senior Capt. Hannah Oakes. “Each and every girl gave it everything they had and earned it all. Sweeping the section 4AA tournament was so surreal.”
“I have never believed and trusted a team so much as this one,” said Senior Capt. Wren Williams. “I know that each girl will hold a special place in my heart. I couldn’t ask for a better outcome for all the work these girls put in. They deserve it so much and I thank God for every moment with them”
“The hard work and dedication this team has put into each routine is truly amazing,” said Sophomore Capt. Ashlyn Frey. “I am so incredibly proud to share this journey with my second family.”
“I’m so proud of how hard our team worked to reach this milestone,” said Senior Capt. Ashley Matvick. “It takes years of dedication to build a competitive dance program. I’m extremely grateful and humbled to have been a small part of that. I’m so excited to take the state floor with this amazing team.”
“I can barely put into words how unbelievably proud I am of every single girl on this team,” said Holm. “Not only because they show up for each other and are always fighting to be 1% better than the last time but because they have truly shown me how much they care for each other and the passion they have for the sport. I feel extremely confident and excited going into state knowing that there is no other team or coaches that I would want to do it with! Let’s go dance team!”
The state tournament will be held in Minneapolis at the Target Center. Jazz competitions will take place on February 16 and Kick the following day on February 17. Joining the Bulldogs in representing Section 4AA will be ROCORI and St. Francis.