I could write a book about my state dance experience this past weekend at Target Center in Minneapolis. I have mentioned in past blogs that covering the state dance tournament is one of my favorite events to cover on the radio. There should be a law about having so much fun and still getting paid. It’s a job and someone has to do it, so why not me! What the LQPV-DB Shadows dance teams accomplished Friday and Saturday was remarkable. Winning back to back state championships in High Kick and Jazz and being the first school in Class A to ever do that.

LQPV-DB Shadows High Kick State Champions

Some pretty cool things happened Friday and Saturday and so let me tell you about them. I had contacted John Lauritsen of WCCO television earlier in the week to let him know about Lisa Johnson, the coach for the Shadows and her sister Julie, who is the coach for the YME Silhouettes. Both teams were competing at state again this year and I also told John they have another sister who coaches at Maccray. So three sisters that are dance coaches. John told me that they would do a story on them. So Friday, Susan Elizabeth Littlefield from WCCO visited with me about Lisa and Julie with the camera rolling. I didn’t know I was going to be on tv. She asked me about 6 questions and I thanked her for doing the story and she told me it would air at 6pm that night. Which it did and they did a great job telling the story about Lisa and her sisters and daughters. I had to laugh because my five minute interview was left on the editing floor and I got about 3 seconds of air time. I’m glad they did that, because I wanted to do a do over.

I had nice visits with my friends Ryan Phelps from Minnesota Sports Radio and John Millea of the Minnesota State High School League, who writes John’s Journal on the MSHSL website. A surprise came Friday when the public address announcer at Target Center came up to me and he called me by name and shook my hand. I didn’t recognize him at all. He told me I had been on a sports radio show with him and Ryan Phelps during the football season a few times. Then I remembered who he was, but never had met him face to face.

Spending time with other people who are also covering the Shadows is what I enjoy the most. We had great local photographers taking pictures for newspapers and websites. Missy Oie, Lynne Raymo, Kristine Reszel, Julie Asfeld and Kristi Fernholz. They hung around the area I was at most of the time and it was enjoyable just visiting with them, listening to them plan strategies of where everyone was going to position themselves during the performance. We had some good laughs, when a few of us kept falling down the steps by our broadcast area, me included. The pictures these ladies captured are amazing to look at. Julie Asfeld does most of the social media for the LQPV school and is very creative on Instagram and Facebook. I got some pretty sweet Tweets on my Twitter account. I could do a whole blog on covering the state dance tournament using social media.

My favorite moment came Friday night after the girls won the jazz title. I was broadcasting live on the air with Ken Franzky and former jazz coach Hannah Johnson. Hannah had coached these girls in jazz the last couple of years and actually talked Lisa into starting a jazz program way back when and so she was very close to the girls on the jazz team. The girls had just received their trophy and were done with all the picture taking. Hannah is standing next to me, and the girls start running toward our broadcast area and I thought they were running towards me to talk on the radio. I stepped into the aisle and was about to give some of them hugs and congratulations and to start talking to them on the radio, when all of a sudden Hannah unknowingly pushed me into the railing to get by me and get to her girls! The girls were running to hug Hannah and celebrate a jazz championship! Ken thought that was pretty funny and so did I. The scene of the jazz girls hugging and crying and screaming with Hannah was a special moment to witness. However, my ego was damaged.

These girls have worked so hard and the drive they have to be the best is incredible. Watching the Shadows and Silhouettes perform their routines, you realize just how athletic they are. These girls are some talented athletes. Like I said to one of them on the radio, you can call yourself a state champion for the rest of your life nobody can take that from you! Loved seeing all the huge smiles and the hugs from family members and friends. The fans are just crazy, dressing up and going all out! It was just a fantastic couple of days.

Dee Dee Schommer and Ken Franzky

I want to end with telling you about the amazing job that Ken Franzky, Dee Dee Schommer and Hannah Johnson did with me on the radio. To do a good broadcast you need to be very knowledgeable about what you are covering and all three of them are the best at talking about dance! They know the sport! The excitement in their voices tells you how much they love dance and it comes through the airwaves. Very professional and so much fun to work with. Lots of laughs too. Like Ken said when we signed off from Target Center. “Let’s do this again next year!”

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad

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