Section Dance Saturday in Montevideo is what I look forward to every year! One of my favorite sporting events to broadcast.

If you’ve never been to the Montevideo gym for section dance you won’t understand what I am about to write about or how it feels to experience a great high school sporting event. Section 3A is by far the toughest section in the state year after year with the best dance teams. I have been very lucky to be able to cover section dance for KLQP radio since 2001. Following the LQPV-DB Shadows and Canby-Minneota Sensations over the years has been a real joy. Saturday was another fun day of dance.

Ken Franzky and Grace Johnson

I arrived before the doors opened and set up my radio equipment and prepared to go on the air at 11:30 with Ken Franzky and Grace Johnson. Ken has helped me for a number of years and is an expert on dance. His daughters were Shadows. He’s fantastic! Grace joined me for the first time on the radio covering the event. Grace has been a Shadow since birth following her mother, Lisa around as she coached the Shadows for many years. This was the first year Lisa and Grace were spectators. Saturday’s broadcast went flawless, Grace spoke from her heart about her love for dance and the tears came. Ken recalled the history of the Shadows and how they had become a dynasty with three state champions in high kick and jazz in the last three years. We had alumni, and Shadow moms, coaches, captains and seniors on the broadcast throughout the day. We covered the Shadows and Sensations. It made for great radio!

I have a few favorite moments from Saturday. Grace has a cousin Lily that dances for the YME Silhouettes. We were watching the Silhouettes perform and Grace informed me that Lily just looked up in the press box while she was dancing and winked at Grace! Winked! Lily winked at Grace while dancing! I thought that was awesome! I couldn’t believe it. Now that is a confident dancer to be able to do that. For some reason I was blown away by that.

Emma and Shauna Jo Vernlund Canby-Minneota Sensations

Another moment came while interviewing Canby-Minneota Coach Shauna Jo Vernlund and her sister Emma who is a junior and Sensation dancer. Actually this is really sad, earlier in the week Emma had her appendix taken out and wasn’t able to compete on Saturday, so her season was done. Only a few days after surgery, Emma was with her team in full uniform and makeup and with a smile! I was amazed at Emma’s attitude while interviewing her. She wanted to dance so bad at sections. Even though I don’t really know her I teared up and felt so bad for her. She has worked so hard to get to this point and then boom! Stupid appendix. The Sensations placed 5th in high kick, their highest finish ever.

So that wrapped up dance Saturday. Yellow Medicine East, LQPV-DB and Montevideo are going to state in jazz and high kick next week at Target Center. All three teams are amazing to watch.

In other news from Saturday. As I left the parking lot of the Montevideo High School I drove through the residential area. When I approached an intersection I saw a girl scout sitting at a table with her mother selling cookies! It was 5 degrees! They both were bundled up in blankets. I slammed on the brakes and bought 5 boxes from her! She was so happy I stopped. She is an amazing entrepreneur!! I didn’t know who they were and have never seen them before. As I was leaving the mother said to her daughter “That’s Gretta’s grandpa!” I was shocked and surprised a bit. I couldn’t wait to get into my car and bite into a girl scout cookie for the first time this year. I quickly opened up the box and tried to take a bite and realized they were FROZEN solid!! That is a tough girl scout to be sitting out in below freezing weather selling girl scout cookies.

I have so many more stories from Saturday, I am way past my word limit for my blog. So when you see me ask me and I will happily tell you.

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad

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