Group places fifth at state in both Jazz, High Kick
The Lakeville North High School dance team placed fifth in both High Kick and Jazz at this year’s Minnesota State High School League Class AA State Tournament held March 12 and 13 at Edina High School.
Lakeliners head coach Monica Fredrickson recently took some time to answer a few questions from the newspaper. The newspaper plans to have a similar Q&A featuring the Lakeville South dance team in a future edition.
When did you start practicing this season?
Our season began Nov. 16 on Zoom because the dancers were put into quarantine because of a school exposure. We did our winter tryouts with video submission and over Zoom. Then the governor put all schools into distance learning beginning Nov. 21, we never started our season in person. We went into Zoom practices for the full month of December and started in-person on Jan. 4.
What was the theme/name of the songs for the entries at state? Why were those selected?
Our Jazz song was “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Our Kick song was “Welcome to the Copacabana.”
Both of these were chosen last summer by the coaching staff and they were chosen because we loved them both and thought they would fit the senior class and our current team of dancers the best!
What changes did you have to incorporate for COVID-19 reasons?
We had a couple of changes that we implemented this year - we had to wear masks, we had assigned bag spots in practice, so they would be spread out and could take their mask down for water. We practiced mostly in the gym or commons for more “open air.”
What challenges did that create?
I thought masks would be more challenging than they actually were. These girls are extremely resilient and they made the most of it. They never complained one time about wearing a mask. At the beginning of our in-person practices in January, as coaches we were more aware that they were going to need more consistent water breaks to catch their breath, and rehydrate! Wearing a mask while doing activity dehydrates you quicker.
Did you have athletes out for a portion of the season due to COVID-19? If so, can you relate how many?
We did not have any COVID issues until Feb. 26 when we had an athlete test positive, her symptoms began the day before and she was at practice. So this put the entire varsity team in quarantine just one week before our section tournament.
The week of Feb. 15 the MDH had released guidance that a 7-day quarantine from day of exposure could be an option with negative tests on Day 5. On Feb. 26, District 194 had decided they would not allow a 7-day quarantine because they felt like they could not support the other items that are required with a 7-day quarantine. This meant that we would have to do a 14-day quarantine, this would put us past our section tournament and if we didn’t compete at sections, we would not be allowed to qualify for the state tournament.
All of the athletes’ parents rallied and sent emails to the superintendent for him to reconsider this decision. The superintendent overturned this decision on Sunday, Feb. 28 and decided to allow us to do a 7-day quarantine with negative tests on Day 5. All of the athletes had to be COVID tested on Tuesday, March 2, and our quarantine would end Thursday, March 4, at midnight. Allowing us to practice in-person one day before our section tournament! We were so excited to have 25 negative COVID tests and to return to in person.
We then qualified for the state tournament in both Jazz and Kick, getting second place in both at sections.
How do you think the teams dealt with the challenges brought on by COVID-19?
Extremely RESILIENT athletes. Everything that was thrown at them and they kept their heads held high and positive attitudes through it all. Challenges make you stronger - stronger individuals and a stronger team. These athletes are the strongest amongst us because of the challenges they had to face.
What impressed you most about this year’s team?
I am going to seem like a broken record but their strength and resiliency was outstanding.
What did the teams get the highest marks for in their routines at state?
For Kick, our highest scores were in: Technique of Kicks - 46; Visual Effectiveness - 46; Degree of Accuracy - 47; Routine Effectiveness -47
For Jazz, our highest scores were in: Creativity - 45; Difficulty of Routine Choreography - 45; Difficulty of Skills - 45; Degree of Accuracy - 46; Routine Effectiveness - 46
How did you and the team members feel after you got off the floor?
It was an incredible feeling when we exited the state floor after both Jazz and High Kick. We had a great performance for Jazz and for Kick it was our best performance of the year.
It is also a bittersweet moment. For many dancers it can be very sad, especially seniors, it was their last dance with the team and that sets in very quickly after finishing and/or this season is over and they will never perform this dance again. They have spent countless hours practicing and perfecting these dances and it is bittersweet at state when the season is over.
The Lakeville North roster consists of Lauren Bolander, Makayla Conzemius, Anna Dittrich, Summer Downard, Brianna Eklund, Ella Erickson, Isabelle Grecco, Erin Hickey, Lauren Johnson, Isabelle Lindroth, Zoe Lomenda, Sophia Lundrigan, Charlotte Malland, Jordyn Miller, Rachel Miller, Amara Moorhead, Madison Netten, Nikki Osowski, Elliana Pettis , Ella Sampson, Sydney Telander, Sophie Thomas, Grace Wohnoutka, Emerson Wood and Lexi Zuehlke.