This Saturday I will cover one of my favorite high school sporting events: section dance team competition at Montevideo High School. Yes, I called it a sporting event, because that is what dance team is, a sport! It is a tough sport, a grueling sport.

It is difficult to describe what the atmosphere is like in the Montevideo gymnasium during section dance. It is really unlike any other section sporting event. Not like section football or basketball tournaments. It is a totally different feeling. The gym is absolutely packed. I don’t know what the seating capacity of the Monte gym is but when all the dance teams are in the building it is beyond its capacity. The noise level is out of this world. The excitement is exhilarating.

My excitement and love for dance team began a long time ago. My daughter Brianna was a LQPV Shadow. She made varsity high kick when she was a freshman back in the early 2000’s. In 7th and 8th grade I would drive her out to LQPV high school at 5:30 in the morning for practice some days. The commitment she had as a Shadow was amazing. I saw firsthand how hard she worked at dance. Practicing her moves at home constantly. She loved being a Shadow.

It was her freshman year that the Shadows made their very first state trip. I remember that section meet in Montevideo very well. When it was announced that we placed third and qualified to go to state we all went nuts! I remember the tears of joy coming from everyone. How happy everyone was. How proud I was of my daughter and the girls on that team.

Another important part of dance team are the parents. Shadow moms and Shadow dads, Shadow grandma’s and grandfathers! I always felt like we were a big family. The experience you have as a Shadow parent is amazing and unlike any other sport. My experience as a Shadow parent is something I will always remember.

Now my job allows me to continue to follow the Shadows and other dance teams in the area. Section 3A over the years is the most competitive section in the state at any level. Working at the radio station and covering dance has been a real joy!

Lisa Johnson was the coach when Brianna was a Shadow and she continues to coach the Shadows today. Year after year she has the Shadows performing at a high level. These girls work hard for her and for their teammates. They put the time in to become better, and it is always interesting to see how much fun they have when they are together.

You will see the gym in Montevideo and at Target Center every year  full of Shadow alumni. Once a Shadow, always a Shadow. And that goes for parents and grandparents as well. Once a Shadow parent, always a Shadow parent.

See you in Montevideo Saturday!


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