Maple Grove jazz dance team caps undefeated season with state crown

Members of the Maple Grove Senior High School Dance Team perform in the Jazz Division at the 2013 State Girls’ Dance Team Tournament. (Photos by Rick Orndorf)

Members of the Maple Grove Senior High School Dance Team perform in the Jazz Division at the 2013 State Girls’ Dance Team Tournament. (Photos by Rick Orndorf)

Wins sixth state championship

Friday, Feb. 15 was the icing on the cake for the Maple Grove dance team as the Crimson were selected the 2013 AAA Minnesota dance team jazz champion at the state meet at the Target Center, culminating an undefeated season.

Members of the Crimson Dance Team dance to “Surrender” on Feb. 15 at the State Girls’ Dance Team Tournament.

Members of the Crimson Dance Team dance to “Surrender” on Feb. 15 at the State Girls’ Dance Team Tournament.

After not qualifying for state in kick last year while taking second place in jazz, the Crimson were eager to improve on last year. They set the goal of making finals in kick and taking first place in jazz. With hard work, dedication, and perseverance, the Crimson achieved their goals.

“This team has been the most determined, hardworking group of kids I have ever worked with,” said Jill Leste, one of the dance team’s five coaches. “They had two goals and were not willing to settle for anything less. The fact that they succeeded in both Kick and Jazz this year speaks volumes for their work ethic. All five coaches have never been this proud.”

The Crimson Dance Team placed first in the Class AAA Jazz Division of the state tournament.

The Crimson Dance Team placed first in the Class AAA Jazz Division of the state tournament.

Leste and fellow coaches Stacy Marquardt, Krista Sorensen, Dee Careen, and Morgan Martinez are the backbone to the team’s success, always pushing the girls to do their best, making many changes to the dances, and being great role models and leaders as well. Additionally, their teams have won state titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, and now 2013. They were runners up in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Led by captains Anna Jergenson, Paige O’Leary, Elena Smale and Madeline Schutte, the Crimson had an amazing season despite the injuries and many changes they have had to endure. They have had a fabulous varsity kick season, winning their conference title and finally making it to state this year and placing in the finals.

The Maple Grove Jazz Dance Team finishes an undefeated season with a state crown. (Photo courtesy of the Maple Grove Dance Team)

The Maple Grove Jazz Dance Team finishes an undefeated season with a state crown. (Photo courtesy of the Maple Grove Dance Team)

For the jazz dancers, this year has been a dream come true as they went undefeated throughout the season at conference meets and invitationals, and resulting in winning the conference, sections and state championships.

Many of the Maple Grove  dancer  started out with a dream at the age of 3 or 4 years old  to be fabulously amazing dancers.  They realized their dreams with their state victory.

“Not only are they incredibly skilled dancers but incredible people as well and future leaders of tomorrow,” said parent Amy Meehan. “All the skills they have learned as dance team members:  hard work, persistence, perseverance, team building, encouragement, support, leadership, friendship, and sportsmanship  will carry them through all of their days and help them become better, stronger people. Who knew dance team could teach you so much? Not only are these girls award winning dancers, but award winning young ladies as well.”

A Class AAA Jazz All-Tournament Teams was also selected. MGSH members Anna Jergenson and Madeline Schutte were on the team. Taylor MacLeod and Emily Meehan of MGSH were named to the Class AAA High Kick All-Tournament Team.

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