Dance Team: Brainerd dances to 6th-place finish, C-I improves by 1

Brainerd and Crosby-Ironton competed in the state jazz competition Friday, Feb. 18.

Brainerd jazz dancers jump in the air.
The Brainerd jazz team takes to the air Friday, Feb. 18, during the Class 3A State competition at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

MINNEAPOLIS — It was exactly where Cindy Clough thought they would finish.

Prior to the Class 3A state jazz competition Friday, Feb. 18, at Target Center, Brainerd head coach Cindy Clough sort of predicted her team would be in the sixth-place range.

Low and behold the Warriors placed sixth after advancing to the finals. This is the second time Brainerd has placed sixth and is the second-best finish in program history.

Brainerd dance members hug after learning good news.
Members of the Brainerd jazz team react after learning they advanced to the finals of the state jazz competition Friday, Feb. 18, at Target Center.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

“We kind of figured we would,” Clough said. “We’re thrilled to get in the top finals because we beat some teams like Lakeville North and Eden Prairie that were right up there, too. We’re really happy about that.”

The final six included Eastview, Wayzata, Edina and the three qualifiers from Section 4-3A Maple Grove, Sartell and Brainerd.


“I don’t think that has happened before where all three teams from one section make the finals,” Clough said. “That was really cool.”

Brainerd's jazz team performs at state.
The Brainerd jazz team performs Friday, Feb. 18, during the Class 3A state competition at Target Center in Minneapolis
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

Brainerd collected 25 rank points and scored 711 points out of 800 in the finals. Brainerd’s 76 in routine effectiveness was second only to first-place Eastview, which scored a 78. Four of the judges gave Brainerd 10s. Four of them gave Brainerd nines out of 10s.

Brainerd scored a 74 on difficulty of skills, which was the third-best score of the six finalists and recorded 73s on creativity and difficulty of routine choreography. Both of those 73s were third-best among the top six.

“We looked the best we have all year and it was a good way to bring it,” Cloud said. “We were very happy with how they competed.

“It was exciting and they have this performance under their belt for tomorrow. I think even the ones that weren’t dancing were watching and they got a feel for the ons and offs and just seeing what it’s going to be like.”

Brainerd will be one of the first teams to compete Saturday, Feb. 19, in the Class 3A kick competition.

“This is a tiring comeback for us,” Clough said. “The teams that are in both kick and jazz and then when you make finals it’s another element, because if you don’t make finals then you go back and go back to work. Now today, we haven’t touched our kick routine, and I know that seems crazy, but it feels like forever ago since we cleaned it so we’ll go to work on it tonight believe it or not and then right away in the morning.”

Class 1A

Crosby-Ironton improved by one place from last year’s ninth-place finish to place eighth in the Class 1A competition.


Dancers strike a pose.
Crosby-Ironton's jazz team performs Friday, Feb. 18 at the Class 1A State competition at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

“It went really well,” C-I head coach Rachel Norwood said. “I’m really proud of them. We improved from last year.

“It was awesome. We had a great fan section and it was just good to be back in the Target Center atmosphere with all the lights and energy. It was great to be back and have a more normal state experience.”

Frazee-Vergas, Yellow Medicine East, St. Cloud Cathedral, Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd, Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Cannon Falls advanced to the 1A finals.

Cathedral won the jazz title followed by LQPV-DB in second and Yellow Medicine East in third.

Crosby-Ironton jazz dancers reach for the sky
The Crosby-Ironton jazz team reaches for the sky after competing in the Class 1A state competition Friday, Feb. 18, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

C-I collected 41.5 rank points. They scored 480 total points with their highest point total coming from routine effectiveness. C-I’s next highest scores came in creativity and difficulty of skills.

“I think it was definitely good to get some nerves out today,” Norwood said. “Jazz is a more nerve-wracking style. I think they were able to get a feel for what it was like and get all those nerves out so they’re ready to go tomorrow.”

C-I will compete in the state kick competition 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 19.

State Jazz

Class 1A: 1-St. Cloud Cathedral 5 rank points, 2-Lac Qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 11, 3-Yellow Medicine East 13, 4-Cannon Falls 23, 5-Frazee Vergas 27.5, 6-Zumbrota-Mazeppa 27.5, 7-Minnewaska 29.5, 8-Crosby-Ironton 41.5, 9-Holdingford 44.5, 10-Providence Academy 47, 11-PACT Charter 50.5, 12-Montevideo 51

Class 3A: 1-Eastview 6 rank points, 2-Maple Grove 11, 3-Wayzata 14, 4-Sartell 19.5, 5-Edina 20, 6-Brainerd 25

Next: Brainerd, Crosby-Ironton in state kick competition at Target Center, Minneapolis 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 19.

More recent articles by Jeremy Millsop
The Brainerd Warriors traveled to Maple Grove Wednesday, Feb. 8.
The Brainerd Warriors, Little Falls Flyers and Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines competed in the Section 8 Championship Wednesday, Feb. 8.
The Brainerd Sports Boosters meet most Thursdays during the school year.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
What To Read Next
Brainerd's Eli Knapp is coming off recent success as he heads into the Section 8 meet.
Lucy Peterson's first varsity goal came in the state semifinals as an eighth-grader.
Eli Laposky hit an off-balance shot as time expired to win the game for the Patriots.
Pequot Lakes traveled to Esko for a Section 7-2A matchup.