That was the sentiment expressed by Head Coach Laura Anderson after her Becker Dazzlers varsity dance team finished tied for fifth in the high kick category at the Section 2AA tournament last Saturday in Chisago Lakes. A double tie-breaker method officially placed Becker in sixth place behind Duluth Denfeld.
“The girls made great strides in the high kick category, moving from 11th place in 2013 to a tie for fifth place this year,” said Anderson.
The high kick team gained 48 points over their 2013 section tournament score and placed ahead of local schools such as Zimmerman by 23 points, Monticello by 39 points and Big Lake by 236 points.
The top three schools advancing to state next week for the kick category were Totino Grace, Benilde-St. Margaret and Fridley. These same three teams advanced to state in the high kick category last year.
“I am so very proud of the Becker athletes,” said Coach Julie Baloun. “The kick routine performance at sections was very strong. We had a very successful season with a great deal of growth.”
Baloun said the team’s highest scoring category was “difficulty of kicks” and biggest area of opportunity was in “technique of kicks”. “During the off season, the athletes have been encouraged to really work on technique so we can grow that area on the score sheet,” Baloun said.
Anderson beamed with pride as she commented her girls looked like state contenders with their performance at sections.
“They have been challenged with difficult and intricate choreography in high kick this season and each individual rose to the occasion to make our team solid,” the coach said. “It has been brought to my attention that other team’s coaches are keeping a close eye on Becker as we are perceived as a competitive threat. We will take that as one of the best compliments we can get for the season.”
Despite a stellar performance, the Dazzlers jazz team finished 11th, the same spot they finished in last year. First place went to Totino Grace with Benilde – St. Margaret taking second and Fridley taking third.
“The field was intensely competitive this season and the teams in our section placed very similarly to last year,” said Anderson. “Becker did not have any gains in our jazz scores from last year’s sections as opposed to the increases we have been seeing all season prior to the tournament.”
Anderson was disappointed with the scores from the judges that were lower than scores they received at our competitions and invitationals throughout the season.
“I don’t feel that the scores were necessarily an accurate representation of the routine the athlete’s performed as the girls successfully executed some very challenging choreography and we did not see the same level of difficulty or strength of execution in a few of the teams that followed us,” she said.
“But the team came away very positive about our season and eager to jump into our 2014-2015 jazz season,” she said. “As a coach, I could not ask for a more positive, dedicated and enthusiastic group of athletes who continue to tell me on the bus ride home from the tournament that they don’t want their dance season to end.”
High Kick Category
1). Totino Grace; 2). Benilde – St. Margaret; 3). Fridley; 4). Chisago Lakes; 5). Duluth Denfeld; 6). Becker; 7). Zimmerman; 8). Monticello; 9). Hermantown; 10). Hill Murray; 11). North Branch; 12). Park Center; 13). Pine City; 14). Big Lake.
1). Totino Grace; 2). Benilde – St. Margaret; 3). Fridley; 4). Duluth Denfeld; 5). Chisago Lakes; 6). Hermantown; 7). Hill Murray; 8). Monticello; 9). North Branch; 10). Zimmerman; 11). Becker; 12). Park Center; 13). Pine City; 14). Big Lake.
Though the regular season and playoffs are over for the Dazzlers, they will continue to stay with the program throughout the course of the year. They practiced this week to do a performance at the high school pep fest Friday as part of the Sno-Daze festivities.
They will also be holding a Hip Hop Dazzler Dance Camp for boys and girls ages 3-12 with practices this week Tuesday and Wednesday and next week (Feb. 18-19). That will be followed with a half-time performance by the “campers” to a hip hop routine choreographed by Dazzler team members. Interested “campers” can be signed up through the Becker Community Education website or by calling the office at 763-261-4506.
The class is $48 and all participants receive a t-shirt for the performance.
The dance team will be holding a dance team clinic for sixth grade girls who are interested in dance and learning what being a part of the Dazzlers dance team is all about. The clinic dates are March 11-12 at the Becker Middle School. The clinic is free and posters and flyers are posted with more details.
Practices for auditioning for the 2014-2015 varsity and JV dance teams will be held March 13, March 18 and March 19. Further auditions will be held March 20. All practices and auditions will be held at the Intermediate School. Starz and Just For Kix dancers are highly encouraged to maximize their middle and high school dance experience by becoming part of the dance team.
For any questions regarding the Dazzler Hip Hop dance camp, the sixth grade dance clinic, or upcoming practices and auditions for the 2014-2015 season, please email coach Laura Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.