Rangers win jazz, second in kick at home SEC meet

The Forest Lake dance team continued its string of strong performances to start the season with a fine effort in a Suburban East Conference meet it hosted on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

The Rangers won the varsity jazz competition and took second in varsity kick, while the B-squad jazz unit also was a winner.

“The kids and the coaches all really felt good about all of our performances,” coach Rachel Rue said afterward. “I felt we brought really good energy – and it’s great to dance in front of your home crowd, because there is a lot of energy there.

“For kick it was a little tougher because [we went last and other] teams had left to try and beat the storms. But our JV team had good energy, and it helps when the crowd gets into it.”

Rue said the team’s goal for meets early in the season is to stay as close to section competitors as possible. In a meet the Rangers hosted on Saturday, Dec. 4, the team beat Blaine in kick, finishing third overall and tied the Bengals in jazz with a fourth-place effort.

“Last year Blaine was top 6 in the state in jazz, so it felt really good to tie them,” Rue said. “We ended up losing the tiebreaker, but being that close to a top 6 team was a good thing for us, especially at this point in the season.

“We’re looking to build on this momentum.”

The Rangers also took home medals from a competition at Fridley on Saturday, Dec. 11. Rue said the reason for the team’s success to start this season has been the team’s leadership group.

“Our seniors and our juniors have really stepped up,” she said. “We have a really positive environment in practice; the kids come hungry and ready to work.

“And seeing that we’re in a new section, and that we can compete with the teams in our section, has pushed the kids to work harder and harder.”

While Rue said the team may make a few changes to the choreography of its dances during the break, the changes will be small.

“Usually winter break is the time that teams make big changes to their routines,” she said. “We’ve got a couple of changes planned, but I think our choreography, and the things our kids are doing, is really working.

“We keep reminding our kids that it’s a long season. The section meet is Feb. 6, so there’s still two months to go.”

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