If rankings hold up, then the Brainerd jazz and kick teams should be performing twice at the state dance team competition Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, at Target Center in Minneapolis.

According to Brainerd head coach Cindy Clough, a rough ranking of season scores would have the Brainerd kick ranked fourth heading into Saturday’s kick competition. The jazz team, which will perform Friday, is ranked sixth. The top six teams advance from the opening performances to the nightly finals.

Another bonus will be the performance slots. Brainerd’s kick team will be the last Class 3A team to perform in the opening round.

“I love the last slot for kick,” Clough said. “It doesn’t get any better than that. We’re fourth in jazz and we would rather be later, but it will be fine. It’s better for nerves going early so you have to see the positive in that.”

For the second straight year, Brainerd swept the Section 4-3A event by winning both the jazz and kick.

At last year’s state meet, Brainerd just missed the jazz finals with a seventh-place finish. But clough has high expectations for this year’s squad.

“Right now we’re rated sixth and that could change,” Clough said. “They take the top six into finals and we’re hoping to do that. You just have to get down there and try to do your best.

“The girls are so excited. They can’t want to get down there. The cool thing on our jazz team is that every single one of them danced last year, I believe, on the same floor. I don’t think that’s ever happened to us before. We just had a young team last year and they’re all back except one from last year.”

Brainerd will perform its Alicia Keys’ “How Come You Don’t Call Me” routine. The kick routine is a roaring 20’s rendition called “Sing, Sing, Sing” originally by Benny Goodman.

Brainerd placed fourth in kick at last year’s state meet.

“Our goal is to perform the best we can possibly perform and not worry about things,” Clough said. “Obviously, they want to place high, but you can’t control the judges. You can’t control what anybody else is doing so we just try to worry about controlling our nerves and control our performance. We are going in as prepared as we possibly can be. Kids have spent the last two weeks just watching film. We’ve been analyzing every bit of the routine in slow motion and we’re trying to get it so consistent.

“Basically that’s what we spend our last two weeks doing.”

Competing in the Class 1A kick competition Saturday will be Pierz and Crosby-Ironton. This is Pierz’s first state appearance since 2008.

The Pierz dance team will be the second squad on the floor for the Class 1A competition that will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will start with Frazee. C-I will be third to last and will perform around 12:33 p.m.

Pierz finished second behind Frazee in the Section 4-1A competition with C-I placing third.

Last year’s Class 1A winner Lac Qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd is back to defend its title. Four of the top six teams from last year are back.



State Jazz

Who: Brainerd

When: Friday, Feb. 14

Class 1A Qualifying Competition: 11:30 p.m.

Class 2A/3A Qualifying competition 2 p.m.

Brainerd: 2:28 p.m.

Class 1A Finals 5:30 p.m.

Class 2A/3A Finals 7:15 p.m.

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis



State Kick

Who: Brainerd, Crosby-Ironton, Pierz

When: Saturday, Feb. 15

Class 1A Qualifying Competition: 11:30 p.m.

Pierz performs 11:37 p.m.

Crosby-Ironton performs 12:33 p.m.

Class 2A/3A Qualifying competition 2 p.m.

Brainerd performs 3:32 p.m.

Class 1A Finals 5:30 p.m.

Class 2A/3A Finals 7:15 p.m.

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis