Saturday was my 22nd year of covering the section dance competition in Montevideo. I know more about dance team competitions now than I did back in 2001. I knew nothing about dance when I started covering it on the radio. I have been so blessed to have Grace Johnson and Ken Franzky on the radio broadcast with me the last few years. The knowledge they bring is amazing.
This year’s Shadows high kick routine is one of my favorites. The dance tells the story of a storm coming. The choreography is spot on. The music choice is perfect for the routine, Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away. The Shadows came away with 1st place in both Jazz and High Kick and are on their way to the state dance tournament again. It’s an amazing run of going to state year after year. Watching the competition Saturday, many thoughts were going through my head. I even asked Grace and Ken to pick their favorite high kick routine ever by the Shadows. All three of us said there are too many to choose from and couldn’t decide. One of my favorites is the year they wore cowboy hats and had a western theme. The evolution of the dance routines are amazing as well. If you watch the routines my daughter participated in back in the early 2000’s and watch Saturdays routine, it’s like night and day. The difficulty of the routines, what these girls can do athletically is fun to watch.
Getting back to Grace and Ken. Since Grace graduated from being a Shadow a few years ago, she has joined Ken and me in the press box. What an addition she has been. Many of you that listen don’t realize the homework that Ken and Grace do to prepare for a dance broadcast on the radio. They bring everything. I do my homework as well, but I usually just bring the obvious things you want to talk about. Grace was kind enough Saturday to make copies for Ken and me. She had rosters of each section team, she had the history of the Shadows, she added up the section and state championships for the Shadows, Gold Dusters and Silhouettes. Ken does a lot of math and likes to look at the numbers, and how other teams in other sections are doing. It really is amazing how prepared they are before we go on the air. And they are so well spoken. It makes for a great radio broadcast. I couldn’t ask for a better team. Unfortunately Grace won’t be able to broadcast with us at state because the team she coaches, the Hawley Nuggets qualified for state dance last week. We are so happy for her. I also should mention that former Shadows Lydia and Madeline Aafedt are dance coaches at New London Spicer and they qualified Saturday for state as well.
So, this week I head to Target Center for State Dance. It’s my annual trip. I look forward to it every year. It’s different than covering state football or basketball. You will see Montevideo and Yellow Medicine East dance fans cheering on the Shadows and vica versa. Section 3A makes some noise at state every year. I will leave early Friday morning and spend two days at Target Center. I don’t think Minneapolis knows that a storm is coming Friday and Saturday!
One thought on “THE STORM IS COMING!”
With all those ‘Shadow’ alumni coaching; State should be really exciting. Don’t envy those judges at all.