BSM dancers compete with Minnesota’s best

Katie McKeever

Devotees from high school dance teams across the state crammed into the Eastview High School gymnasium to validate the torment that they endured in their umpteen years of striving for perfection in the world of studded tutus and binding footwear. Over 80 girls battled in the Miss Dance Team Minnesota dance competition on October 26.

Presented by Just For Kix, Inc, the Miss Dance Team Minnesota competition determines one winner to represent the state of Minnesota in a national competition where the competitors can win scholarships and credibility to college dance teams and studios. In order to become Miss Dance Team Minnesota, participants must compete in the solo category in which all contestants are judged on a solo dance performance, a modeling display of technical skills, and a short interview. Junior Natalie Dorsey who competed in the solo category said the interview “is the scariest because it is so personal.”

However, there is a duet/trio category, called the Best of Minnesota, in which the dancers are only judged on choreography, technique, difficulty, synchronization, and the presentation of the dance itself.

Stepping up for the challenge this year, four of BSM’s own dance team members, including seniors Claire Anderson-Norblom and Elle Mohs as well as juniors Brett Threlkeld and Natalie Dorsey. The girls were the first in two years since 2007 graduate Evie Olson to be asked by the coaches to represent the school in the competition. “I’ve always wanted to compete in this competition. This is a group of girls competing that are considered the best of the best, and when I was given the opportunity, I wanted to be a part of it,” said Mohs.

In both Miss Dance Team Minnesota and the Best of Minnesota, dancers register to either dance lyrical or jazz. This year all the girls choose to perform lyrical dances. Together Clarie Anderson-Norblom and Brett Threlkeld performed a duo to John Mayer’s “Free Fallin'” while Elle Mohs and Natalie Dorsey performed a duo to Brian Litterel’s “Angels and Heros.” However, Dorsey also competed in the solo category to the song “And the World Turned” by Gabe Dixon, a song she knew would “stand out” among other constantly overplayed songs at competitions.

Choosing a song was no large feat for Mohs and Dorsey after they heard the song dedicated to Matt Hoff by KS95. They “loved how pretty the song was,” said Dorsey, and the two “wanted to dance in honor of Matt and it helped [them] overcome Matt’s death by doing something [they] loved,” said Mohs.

After realizing the surprisingly brief extent of anguish in the process of choosing a song and registration, the girls began to prepare for the competition. From there the preparation proved to be slightly more agonizing in that choreographing an original dance is no small feat. Dorsey and Mohs practiced every other day for about three weeks at various dance studios. Anderson-Norblom and Threlkeld had a less extensive preparation for the competition in that “we did not do too much practicing, but just enough to get the dance together and have fun,” said Anderson-Norblom.