COVID-19 has ruined lots of events for people around the world. Anna Becker, a senior at Cannon Falls, wouldn’t let this pandemic stand in her way of having an accomplished senior year.
This year Becker performed her first ever solo at the Miss Minnesota Dance Team event. “It was my first and my last ever solo. I have always had somebody next to me to rely on while on stage. I was extremely nervous but the experience was incredible,” she says. Becker used to dance for a studio in Cannon Falls where she would compete in duets with her sister and in many other group dances. She also is one of this year’s captains of the Cannon Falls Dance Team. While she constantly proves herself to be an amazing dancer, this year was the first time she had the opportunity to showcase her talents on her own.
The Miss Minnesota Dance Team event is usually held at Eastview High School, but this year the location change due to COVID restrictions. The 2020 event took place at the Ames Center in Burnsville on October 25th. One of the hardest restrictions of this event for Becker was the lack of fans in the crowd; “Dancers feed off of crowd noise, but because of the limited audience members it was hard to keep my energy up.”
There were many changes to the Miss Minnesota Dance Team event because of the COVID restrictions. The event was made to be as safe as possible to ensure minimal spread of the virus. “When I was about to go on stage somebody had to come take my mask and then they met me on the other side of the stage after I was done performing to put my mask back on,” Becker describes. In addition to the safety precautions taken for the in person part of the event, there was also a virtual aspect to the competition process.
Because Becker is a senior this year, she was part of the Miss division of the competition. This means that she had the opportunity to become Miss Minnesota Dance Team. With this part of the competition comes much more work. The application process to be Miss Minnesota Dance Team is complete with an interview, a skills competition, and a solo competition. COVID made only one part of the competition able to be in-person: the solo competition. The interview and the skills competition were pre-recorded and sent to the judges before the in-person portion of the competition.
Anna Becker is a role model for many students and dancers in Cannon Falls. She felt honored to represent our school at a statewide competition. “I loved being able to represent our school and dance team. It was challenging competing next to the best dancers in the state, but that motivated me to just have fun and to not worry about what place I got,” she states. Becker made the most out of the experience and had fun while competing in the Miss Minnesota Dance Team competition.