MARSHALL - All the practices after school, on Saturday mornings and even when school wasn't in session paid off for local dance teams this weekend at the 2012 State Girls' Dance Team Tournament, local coaches said.
The Marshall Tiger Dance team placed sixth in jazz and seventh in high kick in Class AA, the Yellow Medicine East Silhouettes took third in high kick and jazz in Class A, while the Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd Shadows took fourth in high kick and sixth in jazz in Class A.
Marshall dance coach Mary Susan Gerber said her team is proud of what it accomplished this weekend.
Photo courtesy of Dave West
The Marshall Tiger jazz team placed sixth in Class AA at state competition this weekend at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
"It was what we were working for, to get into finals," Gerber said.
Usually the Marshall team has scored better in high kick, but from the first competition this season, it has been the other way around, Gerber said.
And the extra focus on the jazz routine paid off at state, Gerber said.
The YME team has been to state every year since the Minnesota State High School League sanctioned dance in 2000.
"It went really well, the girls danced well," said YME coach Chris Nerdahl. "They had four great performances."
Lisa Johnson, coach of the LQPV/D-B team, said this was the first time her team has been to state in jazz.
"So we were really excited," Johnson said. "Our goal was to make it to the top six in both (jazz and high kick)."
"This was a tough year for double-A high kick," Gerber said. Gerber said two strong high kick teams, Chaska and Faribault, joined Class AA.
"We still pushed through and ended up in seventh," Gerber said. "We're pleased with that." It was the third year in a row that the Marshall varsity high kick team has taken seventh at state, Gerber said.
Two members of Marshall's dance team, McKayla Allpress and Brianna West, were named to the 2012 State Girls' Dance Team Tournament Class AA Jazz All-Tournament Team. Qualifications for the honor include leadership, showing good sportsmanship, dedication to the team and athletic ability.
"We worked hard, we had a good year, we're happy with the way things turned out," Gerber said.
Dance team takes a lot of time and commitment, Nerdahl and Johnson said, with after-school practices and Saturday morning practices. Nerdahl also noted that she had great captains and good choreography this year.
"We had to make few changes to choreography," Nerdahl said.
Johnson said she thinks both of her jazz and high kick routines had very good choreography.
"The coaching staffis creative and new and I think that really helped us," Johnson said.
After the 2009 season, Nerdahl lost a good chunk of seniors and for the 2010 team, she had 18 seventh- and eighth-graders on varsity. The young team worked hard for three years to get where it did on Saturday.
"They had set the goal they wanted to come home with medals in jazz and high kick," Nerdahl said.
Hard work and dedication are a couple of the keys to success, coaches said.
"They had to work pretty hard to go where they did, they're pretty hard workers," Johnson said.
"We have consistent coaching, which I think helps, we put in a lot of time," Nerdahl said.
Johnson said it's a privilege to be able to go to state and if a team does make it, it should feel honored and proud.
Gerber said her team has more momentum now that it's gotten into the finals.