By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

— In this week’s High School Sports Rally, WCCO-TV made a stop at the Target Center where the 37th State Girl’s Dance Team Tournament is being held this weekend.

On Friday night, 36 teams in three classes where trying to bring home a gold medal.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s was one of the teams competing in Class AA Jazz competition. The Knightettes had a strong performance in the qualifying round, advanced to the finals, and got a standing ovation from their fans. They went on to capture the AA title.

The Divas of Marshall School of Duluth won their 5th consecutive team title, winning the Class A Jazz division.

Maple Grove took home the Class AAA Jazz title.

“We practice 9 months out of the year, and jazzers especially — we stay after the kickers go home. It definitely takes a lot of work,” said senior captain Molly Carey of the Sartell-St. Stephen’s Jazz team.

Carey was talking about her team, but she might as well have been talking about any of the teams at state. Coordination, choreography, and endurance are key. The girls work hard, practicing as much as 4 hours a day 5 days a week, and it shows on the dance floor.

“Every team dreams of making it to state and to watch the girls have their peak performance at state is the goal. To get them to hit their turns and their combinations is always a highlight,” said Sartell-St. Stephen coach Kelly McCarney. Sartell-St. Stephen finished 5th in the Class AA jazz division.

The High Kick division will be held on Saturday at the Target Center. There will again be 36 teams competing in 3 classes.

On a side note, the High-Kick team of Frank Vascellaro, Mike Max and John Lauritsen did not qualify this year. In fact, they didn’t even come close


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