Maple Grove Jazz, Kick Dance Teams Ready for State Competition
Feb 11, 2016 09:09AM ● Published by Doug Erlien
For the seniors on the team, hours of preparation and practice have them knocking on the door of one more state championship.
“It seems like just yesterday we were the little eighth graders, looking up to the seniors and they seemed so big compared to us,” senior captain Hannah Feyereisen said. “It’s cliché - we always say it goes by so fast, cherish it. But you don’t realize how fast it goes by until you’re at the end of it.”
Senior captain Hannah Todd added, “It goes by slow during practice because you’re focused on the dance and then the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months and then you’re already going to state.”
Last year, the Crimson brought home the 3A State Jazz Championship and will return
to defend their title. This year, the kick team advanced to state competition as well, something that hasn’t happened in three years.
“It’s such a big deal because we haven’t made it to state for kick, for some of us since ninth grade. Only four of us have danced on the state floor for kick,” senior captain Hennelie Hawes said. “It’s the coolest feeling ever knowing you worked so hard all season to finally reach your goal.”
What makes this group special is their connection with each other. Many members of the team grew up dancing together and it shows on the floor.
“I think almost our whole team has danced together since studio, since we were three, four-year-old and we’ve really built up relationships,” Hawes said. “We all come basically from the same dance family and we’ve joined this team, all knowing each other and it just puts us that much further ahead.”
“When we’re performing, we look around and we’re all dancing next to each other and I think that’s the really cool thing with dance. We’re all on this team and in it together,” senior captain Danielle Williams said. “Through the nerves, through the pressure, through the hard practices, we’re all there for each other.”
On the floor, the team worked through every detail of their jazz performance as the coaching staff with more than 20 years of combined experience watched with mixed emotions.
“It is a little bittersweet for us, for them,” Crimson Coach Stacy Marquardt said. “But usually this is one of our better practices of the year because everyone is so laser focused and excited and almost celebratory of such a great season.”
Coach Jill Leste added, “Anything that happens this weekend is kind of like icing on the cake.”
As the team readies for their biggest moment of their season, they are preparing using lines from a poem by Bernard F. Asuncion.
“Practice like you’ve never won; perform like you’ve never lost”.
They navigated through one of the toughest sections in the state has the Crimson ready for competition. At the Section 2 competition Jan. 30, the Crimson Jazz team finished first, the High Kick team placed third.
As the reach the final days before state, senior captain Taylor Werness said she's "...extremely nervous, but super motivated and so excited to show everybody what we can do."
Section 1: Eastview, Lakeville North, Prior Lake
Section 2: Maple Grove, Wayzaya, Edina
Section 3: Mounds View, Henry Sibley, Spring Lake Park
Section 4: Blaine, Anoka and St. Cloud Tech
High Kick Division:
Section 1: Eastview, Lakeville South, Lakeville North
Section 2: Wayzata, Chaska, Maple Grove
Section 3: Henry Sibley, Spring Lake Park, Centennial
Section 4: Brainerd, Anoka, St. Cloud Tech
Friday, Feb. 12 Jazz Division Competition
Saturday, Feb. 13 High Kick Division Competition
Click here for the complete schedule