After nearly qualifying for the state meet a year ago, the Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd dance team is looking to take the next step this season.
“Last season our kick technique (high kick) and turn technique (jazz) kept us one spot from the state tournament in both,” explained Shadows’ head coach Lisa Johnson. “We have worked so hard in the off season to improve both.”
The Shadows were fourth in Section 3A in both High Kick and Jazz last season, while placing second in High Kick and third in jazz during Camden Conference competitions.
“Our strength this season is having a very hardworking and dedicated group of girls,” said Johnson. “We will be dancing 26 this season on the high kick team, the most since 2011.
“This is the most talented group of girls I have ever coached. They are skilled, coachable and dedicated to get back to the state tournament. They have choreographed two creative, fun and difficult routines.”
LQPV/DB will be led its three captains, senior Victoria Zinda and juniors Madeline Aafeldt and Mackenzie Schilling.
Other returning letter winners include: seniors Alison Dahle and Kelsey Miller; sophomores Ashley Borstad, Addisyn Brehmer, Savannah Erickson, Paige Martinson, Ashtyn Oie, Laura Schlieman and Brittany Whitmore; freshman Lydia Aafedt; and eighth-graders Josie Munsterman, Aaliyah Schommer and Paige Torstenson.
Shadows’ newcomers this season include: freshman Grace Olson; eighth-graders Laura Baldwin, Carissa Besonen, Maddie Giese, Rachel Hahn, Addisyn Oie, Hope Trager and Annika Trygestad; plus seventh-graders Kyndall Franzky and Grace Johnson.
“The three seventh-graders and 10 eighth-graders on our varsity roster may appear as a weakness, but they are proof our feeder programs are working,” Johnson stated.
Johnson also previewed the Shadows’ competition in Section 3A.
“(In) High Kick, Montevideo, YME and BOLD continue to come out strong season after season. We have learned from the past that between the four of us, whoever performs the best will come out on top that week. Our section rivalries keep us on top of our game and its why Section 3A is the toughest in class A.
“(In) Jazz, BOLD and YME will continue to be strong competitors along with RCW. It has been a few years since we have been truly competitive in jazz. This year, our girls have worked hard in the off season to prove they deserve to be considered one of the top teams.”
In addition to Johnson, the LQPV/DB coaching staff will be made up of Sarah Norman (varsity assistant), Carly Wager (JV High Kick), Julie Arends (JV Jazz) and Hannah Johnson (volunteer varsity Jazz assistant).