My favorite high school event to cover is state dance at Target Center every year.
My broadcast partners this year at state dance were Ken Franzky and Grace Johnson. Ken has been with me for a number of years, his daughters were Shadows a few years ago. Ken is amazing, he understands how dance works and what the judges look for. He comes prepared with sheets of data from each team and section. Ken filled in for me last year when I had Covid and did a phenomenal job. Grace Johnson texted me a few months ago and asked if she could be a part of the Q-92 team at state. Grace was a Shadow for 6 years, dancing varsity as a 7th grader. We worked sections in Montevideo a few weeks ago and it went very well.
I could not have asked for a better broadcast team. We were on the air Friday and Saturday from 11am till 6pm. Ken and Grace worked very hard. They both were lining up guests to interview throughout the day. Texting friends and family to come to section 130 to go on KLQP. The interviews we did sometimes got pretty emotional and sometimes we had some pretty good laughs. We had Stan the bus driver, which was a great interview. Stan is pretty enthusiastic about driving the bus for the Shadows. Grace and I interviewed her mom Lisa, Lisa was a spectator for the first time in many years. It was emotional for both Grace and Lisa talking about this year’s team knowing how hard they have worked. This is something very strange for them, not being in the tunnel with the girls or being directly involved with the Shadows.
I interviewed Kristen DeJong and Ella Mills from the Montevideo Gold Duster who were at state in jazz and high kick. Kristen has been a regular guest with me at state dance since graduating from Montevideo. She does very well on the radio. Ella had tears in her eyes while visiting with me, she’s a senior and dancing for the last time as a Gold Duster which is hard for her. Ken and I had a number of Shadow alumni come to Section 130 to talk about their experience as a Shadow and how much they miss dance. We didn’t interview Leila Pust, which we should have done. Leila sang the National Anthem three times at Target Center over the weekend. Amazing voice and experience for her and her family.
My favorite moments were with Ken and Grace on the air. We had so much fun teasing each other. Grace bought a cup of mac and cheese for $12 and was eating it while we were on the air. Both Ken and I teased her about paying $12 for it. She did a fabulous job for the first time broadcasting with me. I was really amazed at how well spoken she is and how she inserts humor and she really knows her stuff. She came so prepared, she had rosters for both the Shadows and YME. She wrote up a tribute to the three seniors for the Shadows. While broadcasting her voice cracked with emotions talking about her love for dance. Tears flowed from her face at times and that made me tear up as well. We had dead air for a few seconds on the radio.
Ken told Grace she should change her major in college and go for Broadcast Journalism. Not knowing Ken told her that, I said the same thing to her. Then when we were going off the air Saturday, Maynard back in the studio, told Grace to seriously consider a career in broadcasting. I told Grace that Maynard is in the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame and a Hall of Famer just told you that you have the talent to become a really good broadcaster. I thought that was pretty cool.
You can listen to the interviews.
I am so blessed to have good people help me broadcast the events I cover. Now it’s on to section basketball and I have some talented people that will also be on the air with me.