Tieing for third at state

The Cannon Falls Bomber Dance Team competed at the Minnesota State High Kick Class A Dance Tournament on Saturday, February 15, and tied with another team for third place.


Jennifer Bennerotte

The final pose for BDT captures the spooky theme throughout the high intensity dance.

After placing first in the Section 2A dance competition for their ghost and nightmare inspired high kick routine, the Cannon Falls Bomber Dance Team, along with two other teams from their section, advanced onto the Minnesota State Class A High Kick Dance Tournament where they would compete against the top three teams from each of the other sections. Cannon Falls, LQPV-DB, Frazee, Pierz, St. Charles, BOLD, Yellow Medicine East, Wabasha-Kellogg, Crosby-Ironton, Holy Family Catholic, and Lake City were the twelve Class A teams that qualified for this competition. In preparation to compete against these fierce teams at this memorable event, the Bomber Dance Team headed up to the cities on Thursday, February 13. Two days later, on Saturday, February 15, this talented group of girls then got the opportunity to make an appearance at the Target Center for the State Dance Competition. 

The prelims portion of this tournament began at 11:30 a.m., and the Bomber Dance Team was the ninth team to dance their heart out in this humongous arena on Saturday. They performed at 12:26 p.m. and their intriguing choreography along with their transition costumes wowed the judges and made the crowd go wild. Vanessa Peer, a captain for the Bomber Dance team described dancing on the State floor as “The best feeling ever!” Ali Larson, another captain for the team, added that “It’s exhilarating. It feels like it’s just the team out there, and everything else just fades away.” For six of the Class A teams, this was their final performance of the season and they only got to experience this magical moment once. Luckily, the BDT learned that they would get another shot to show off their skills at the prelims award ceremony when the announcer informed the audience that the BDT would be the first team to perform in the finals round. 

At this point, the names of the five other teams that advanced onto finals were also revealed. They included: LQPV-DB, Frazee, Yellow Medicine East, Holy Family Catholic, and Wabasha-Kellogg. Waiting to hear what teams are performing in the finals round is often expressed by many BDT dancers as the most nerve-racking experience; however, finding out that they made it onto the next round was one of the best moments of their State adventure. Jada Krinke, a captain for the team, stated “I was so excited to hear our name! It was our goal this year to make it to finals!” Peer expressed that “It was so exciting! All of us were really proud of ourselves for making it that far, especially since we didn’t make it last year.” After the first award ceremony of the day commenced, the BDT bottle up all of their energy and used it to stay focused and nail their routine on the dance floor. This group of humble young ladies then searched for their supportive spectators. Following a quick picture session with their fantastic fans, these athletes headed up to their dancer level so that they could prepare themselves for their final performance of the season. 

I was so excited to hear our name! It was our goal this year to make it to finals!”

— Jada Krinke

A couple of hours later, this team kicked off the final competition at 5:30 p.m. After “peaking” and giving their best performance of the season, these dancers nervously waited backstage for the other five teams to give it their all on the floor. Once all of the dance teams finished their finals performance, they stepped foot on the floor for the last time of the night. Only three places were announced at this award ceremony. LQPV-DB dance team was named the champion of this tournament. Yellow Medicine East dancers took the runner-up position, and Cannon Falls tied with Frazee for third place. Although Cannon Falls and Frazee tied for the third place title at State, the BDT did not walk out of the tournament with medals around their necks. After a tiebreaker, Frazee beat Cannon Falls, and the BDT dancers ended up placing fourth in the State. 

I’ll miss coming to practice everyday and being able to be myself around these girls who have become my sister. I’ll miss their spirit and their hard work and all of their little quirks. I’ll just miss them in their entirety.”

— Ali Larson

A couple of tears were shed by the BDT as they walked off the stage without hearing their name called, but they were not sore losers. They cried not because of their placement but rather because they were sad that their season was officially coming to an end and they didn’t want to let their close team go. On Sunday, February 16, the day after the state tournament, these girls celebrated their season with a team banquet which was held at First English Lutheran Church at 5:30 p.m. While munching on soup, salad, and an assortment of desserts, these dancers remoniced on the highs of their season. They watched an end of the year video which incorporated funny behind-the-scene pictures of the athletes along with images that the coaches and parents took throughout the season. The memories these girls made during their seventeen week season were also recapped as the seniors and coaches spoke a few words of wisdom. These role-models also explained what they would miss most about this team. Larson concluded that she would miss everything when she said “I’ll miss coming to practice everyday and being able to be myself around these girls who have become my sister. I’ll miss their spirit and their hard work and all of their little quirks. I’ll just miss them in their entirety.” Overall, this team had an extraordinary season, and they would not have been able to come this far without their determination and love for dance and each other.