I have attended many high school state tournaments in the cities over the years and they are all very special. What I experienced this past weekend at Target Center in Minneapolis has to rank right up there with one of the best state tournament experiences ever for me! Words to describe the experience would be fun, proud, emotional, exhilarating, adrenaline rush, happy, draining, and more fun!
It should be a crime that I get paid to do what I do. I have covered state dance for KLQP radio now for 17 years and each year the talent of these dance athletes on the Target Center floor seems to get better and better. I look at videos of my daughter Brianna when she was a Shadow from 2002-2004 and compare it to what’s on the floor now. The evolution of dance teams has grown leaps and bounds over the years and it has been fun to watch.
This past Friday and Saturday the LQPV-DB Shadows won state championships in Jazz and High Kick. Friday, the Shadows took first place in Jazz and it was the first time in school history that the Shadows had won a state championship. Saturday they did it again in High Kick and I had a front row seat. Dee Dee Schommer and Ken Franzky joined me on the broadcast both days. Dee and Ken both have daughters that dance and listening to both of them on the radio you can hear the excitement and joy in their voices. I told them both after we got done with our last broadcast Saturday that they did such a super job on radio that they are network material!
I was set up to broadcast just a few rows up from the Target Center floor, it was a perfect set up. I was next to the tunnel where the girls line up to get ready to take the floor to dance. With my media pass I have access to that tunnel and walking back there at times I listened to all the different coaches motivating their dancers before they take the floor. It was so much fun to listen to them. I remember a coach going face to face with each of her dancers standing in line shouting to each one “How long have you been a dancer?” The girls would answer “Since I was 4 years old, since I was 10, since I was 6 years old!” The coach then would say “This is what you were born for, this is your time” Wow, brought tears to my eyes.
I was so blessed to have so many people willing to come to be on the radio with me for the two days. From Shadow dancers, coaches, parents, Shadow alumni, Gold Dusters and I even got my cousin, Erin Lotebauer from the NLS Blackcats and her teammate on the air which was fun. I interviewed coach Lisa Johnson a number of times and every time I saw tears in her eyes. She is so proud of her girls. Lisa is an amazing person and coach. One of my favorite interviews was interviewing the Shadow dads that dressed up like the lead singer from Queen, Freddie Mercury. These dads were going all out with their costumes with dying their hair black and growing mustaches. It was fun watching them having fun and supporting their daughters.
The Shadow girls are absolutely some amazing young women! They all are so talented and have been blessed with the gift to dance. I don’t think I have ever seen a team so determined to want to be a state champion. The drive and really hard work they have put in, since they were very young dancers has paid off with two state championships in one weekend. Look at their faces in the many pictures that have been shared on social media sites. The complete joy on their faces tell the whole story.
During the three-hour drive home all I thought about was what I witnessed and experienced the last couple days at state dance. I arrived home late Saturday evening and I wasn’t even tired! My mind was running a hundred miles a hour still thinking about all that happened at Target Center the last couple of days. I woke up Sunday morning thinking about the Shadows winning state championships. I even continued to think about the fun I had broadcasting state dance in church Sunday morning! It won’t stop!