The season may have ended for the Central dance team at the section meet in Aitkin on Feb. 9, but the Raiderettes had their best finish ever at sections and narrowly missed qualifying for state in the jazz dance division.
“The girls did awesome at sections. We were so proud of them,” said head coach Pamela Johnson. “Their execution was the best it has ever been, with them even tying Aitkin in their execution score in jazz. Aitkin won in jazz.”
Central took fourth place out of nine teams in the jazz event, just a few points away from third place. The top three teams (1. Aitkin, 2. Duluth Marshall, 3. Mayer Lutheran) advanced to state.
“It was hard to miss going to the state tournament by only a few points. But that says a lot about the girls and their commitment and how hard they worked this season,” said Johnson. “The section we compete in is really tough with two teams, Aitkin and Duluth Marshall, both being in the state tournament every year. When we can place in the top five in a section as tough as ours it says a lot. Mayer finished third, and we were only a few points away from them in jazz.”
In the high kick event, the Raiders took seventh place out of 10 teams. The top two teams, Aitkin and Duluth Marshall, advanced to state. Mayer Lutheran took fourth place in that event.
Both the jazz and high kick finishes were the best in Central’s history. The Raiderettes had never previously finished in the top five at sections in either category, and had never placed as high as seventh in high kick.
“The girls performed awesome at sections. There were no mistakes in either of the routines and they did a fantastic job. They definitely reached their potential at sections,” said Johnson. “It was a great year. The girls worked really hard this year, especially in the last few weeks, to improve their dance technique and execution. Our team is a young team. We will only be losing two seniors this year. We are very excited about the possibilities for our team next year.”