Knightettes hope to defend state title

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Photo courtesy of Liz Goulet

The Knightettes perform their “Bleeding Love” routine at their first conference meet of the season hosted by Totino-Grace.

Brian Tobelmann, Staff Writer

With the addition of a Hall of Fame coach, the Red Knight’s dance team, the Knightettes, looks to defend their state title this season. Though this year brings increased competition with the addition of two talented and aggressive teams to the section, the Knightettes are up for the challenge, beginning the season with a strong combination of experienced veterans and talented rookie.

The Knightettes’ new coach, Ms. Kelly Hegarty, led the Burnsville Blazettes to five state high kick titles in her previous coaching job. “With her history in dance, she will be a great asset to our high kick program,” said senior captain Taylor Kenyon.

Hegarty was also recently inducted into the Minnesota Association of Dance Team Coaches Hall of Fame. The Knightettes are looking to recover from last year and take advantage of her expertise after failing to qualify for the state finals last year in high kick. “It’s great to have a coach that is so renowned in just high kick, whereas we previously had coaches for both disciplines,” said senior captain Natalie Walsh.

The Knightettes will have some higher level teams to compete against in order to get to state this year. Chaska, Austin, and Fairbault have all been added to the Knightettes section, section 1AA. “Chaska and Fairbault both have notoriously intense routines and are very good. Last year, Chaska placed fourth in state in class AAA,” said senior captain Alex Bonvino.

To compete with this increased competition, the Knightettes brought in many new members to the team in an attempt to increases its competition this year. “We have nine experienced members and nine rookies [on the jazz team], so we should have a good balance to defend our state title,” said Kenyon.

Despite the young talent, the captains are very confident in their routine. They have spent hours with the new high kick coach developing new and challenging routines that they hope will stand out at competitions. “We have spent several hours for the last two weeks choreographing two powerful and dynamic routines,” said Kenyon. The Knightettes will perform their new dances at conference competitions starting on Tuesday, Nov. 22.