Dance Team members compete in annual Miss Dance Team Minnesota competition

Frannie Scherer, Staff Writer

Every year, high school dancers from all across the state come together at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, to dance it out for the Miss Dance Team Minnesota competition. With many different styles, dancers are judged on their technical skills, quality of movement, and overall performance. Very few dancers sign up for this challenge, but, due to our prolific dance team program – four of the dance team members took on the test.

The day begins with the dancers arriving at Eastview high school at 8 am, an early start to an exhausting day. At different times throughout the day, different age groups perform, starting with middle-school early (at about 9 or 10) and ending with the senior section, beginning at about 1 o’clock.  For every age group, there is a different awards ceremony, which gives more dancers a chance to snatch the title for their specific division.

Each dancer that wanted to compete needed to provide their own dance routine, as well as bringing their own costume and doing their own hair and makeup. “You can technically do any style of dance, for example, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, and even tap are possibilities, but most people either do a lyrical or a jazz routine,” senior Grace Knoer said.

Even with the different age groups and different categories, the dance-filled day is required to run as fast and as smoothly as possible. “We all dance within the same time slot, usually from about 9 to about 4, depending on the different age groups, but the judge, however,  judge differently if the dancer indicates that they want to make Team Minnesota, since it is a little more challenging to make,” senior participant Molly Senger said.

Team Minnesota is a select group of competitors that are chosen from the pool of dancers that marked that they wanted to try-out for it. Throughout the winter, the chosen team practices and creates a routine that they will then take to California in the Spring to compete against other states. Along with bringing the entire team’s routine, each dancer will then also compete for their solo that they danced in the fall.

The Benilde-St. Margaret’s Dance Team was lucky enough to have not one, but four dancers competing at the Miss Dance Team Competition. Seniors Molly Segner, Grace Knoer, Sydney Ryan and Freshman Sadie Witterschein were all there, dancing for the title. Senior Molly Segner, a veteran Miss Dance Team Competitor, placed second in the overall competition and also made Team Minnesota.

It was a fun experience, and I wish I did it before my senior year”

— Grace Knoer

With Minnesota being one of the most competitive states in terms of dancers, it is no surprise that Team Minnesota is top ranked. Not only does the Miss Dance Team Minnesota allow dancers to express the creativity that they usually would not in a normal Dance Team setting, but it also allows all the dancers to connect with one another, and form bonds with other dancers from other teams. “I have been wanting to do it for a while, but since it was my senior year, I thought  ‘Why not?’ It was a fun experience, and I wish I did it before my senior year,” Knoer said.