Aitkin Dance Team Looking To Build On Their Dynasty
The Aitkin High School Dance Team has made a name for themselves over the few years. From 2014 until 2017, Aitkin won four consecutive state championships in the High Kick division, and last year they finished in the top three in both the High Kick and Jazz divisions. Now, Aitkin is putting it all on the line once again as they are heading back to the Target Center.
“We rely on every single person; we can’t have a weak link,” Kate Schmaltz, Aitkin’s Dance Team Head Coach, said. “We only get three minutes to show them what we got.”
The Aitkin Dance team will have their one shot in both the High Kick and Jazz divisions this weekend for the state competition, and their experience from past seasons will pay off when the bright lights are on.
“At state, it’s a whole different environment,” Maddy Slette, Aitkin Senior Captain, said. “The energy is always there, there’s always big bright lights, it’s a big gym, and it’s fun.”
In High Kick, the Aitkin All Starz took second place at sectionals finishing only half a point behind Frazee, and the Jazz team was able to secure a spot at state as well by coming in third at sectionals. Now, Aitkin is focusing on getting every last point they can for state.
“The little details, that’s what matters, that’s what it’s going to come down to,” Arianna Richardson, Aitkin Senior Captain, said. “The chins up, the fingers together, the feet pointed, every single point is going to count at this point in the season.”
After winning state two years ago the team went through a coaching change, and that affected chemistry, but now the squad is closer than ever.
“This year I get that sense that we are bonded,” Schmaltz said. “As some of the captains have said, they really are doing it for each other.”
The seniors on the team want the younger dancers to experience what they did two years ago.
“It was my dream, and I accomplished it, and it was amazing,” Slette said. “That was my all-time dream, and I want that for the younger girls.”
Aitkin will have a chance to make their dreams a reality at the Target Center this weekend.
Also competing in the state dance tournament will be Brainerd in both Jazz and High Kick, and Bagley will compete in the High Kick competition as well.