MARSHALL - Dancers and friends Alyssa Louwagie and Hannah Pfeiffer are competing against each other in an upcoming dance event, but it doesn't bother them.
In fact, they'll be cheering each other on.
Pfeiffer and Louwagie, members of the Marshall Tiger dance team, are taking part in Miss Dance Team Minnesota Oct. 27-28 in Apple Valley.
Hannah Pfeiffer, left, and Alyssa Louwagie, members of the Marshall Tiger dance team, are participating in the Miss Dance Team Minnesota competition, which is Oct. 27-28 in Apple Valley.
The two have to perform solo dances as part of the contest.
The winner from the competition will represent Minnesota in the Miss Dance/Drill Team USA pageant in Los Angeles, Calif.
"We wanted to represent Marshall, and it's a really fun experience," Pfeiffer said. "We watched a lot of older girls from the past do it. That pushed us a little bit more to try it ourselves."
Louwagie's older sister, Ashley, competed in the program a few years ago, as did several Marshall dancers, including Lauren Weber, Jordan Hoeft and McKayla Allpress.
"It's a good challenge, a lot of hard competition," Louwagie said.
About 40 to 50 girls from around the state take part in the dance-based competition. To be eligible, contestants must be age 14-18 and an active member of a Minnesota dance team. The dancer must also be of good character and represent herself with intelligence, poise, health and fitness.
"Whoever wins from Minnesota advances to a national (competition)," Pfeiffer said. "It's fun to watch all the talent of everybody."
"Our coaches told us it was a good experience, a good reason to get out of our comfort zone," Louwagie said of the Miss Dance Team Minnesota competition. As a dance team, Louwagie and Pfeiffer have the help of their team members during competitions; for the Miss Dance Team Minnesota event, they're on their own.
Judging criteria for the "Miss Dance Team" division includes a solo routine that must be performed within a time limit of one-and-a-half to two minutes. For her solo, Louwagie is working on a jazz dance to "I Love Paris."
"It's more of a smooth jazz," Louwagie said.
Pfeiffer said she's on the other end of the spectrum for her solo, as she's preparing a lyrical dance to "Healing My Heart."
"I'm kind of showing a love story in my dancing," Pfeiffer said.
Although they're going up against each other in the Miss Dance Team Minnesota competition, the two said it doesn't matter how things turn out, win or lose.
"We're such good friends, I wouldn't care if she beats me," Pfeiffer said.
Louwagie said they'll support each other from the sidelines.
"We're going to cheer each other on," Louwagie said.
Louwagie and Pfeiffer said the Miss Dance Team Minnesota event will help get them ready for dance team this year.
"I think it will help prepare us for our upcoming dance team season," Pfeiffer said.