Two State Tournament medals clinking together makes a wonderful sound.
“I kept telling people, this weekend, how much I love that sound,” exclaimed Silhouette co-head coach Dee Dee Dreier after returning from this weekend’s State Danceline Tournament.
A pair of heavy brass-colored State Tournament medals dangle and dance on white ribbons; giving of a metallic giggle each time they come in contact while bouncing around the neck of a Silhouette.
Rosina Halverson-Studer lifts her pair of third place medals off her neck and holds them in front of her face before giving them a little shake to hear the tinkle.
“I’ve just been doing this all day,” says Halverson-Studer; waving the medals. “It’s not obnoxious,” she says with a shake that makes the medals jingle at full volume.
Her co-captains and Yellow Medicine East teammates certainly approve. And the legions of Silhouette fans and support staff certainly can’t find displeasure in the ringing notes produced by State Tournament hardware as the Silhouettes captured third-place finishes in both Jazz and High Kick at the State Danceline Tournament held this past weekend at the Target Center.
“This was one of those years where we knew we had a good chance to medal in both,” said team co-captain and senior Amy Tongen. “We haven’t (earned two State medals) since 2008. So that was a big deal.”
Dreier echoed Tongen, saying, “Of course we hoped for the State Championship. But, since the beginning of the year it’s been our goal to medal in both at State. We met our goals and we’re extremely happy.”
For Dreier, who is now retiring as coach of the Silhouettes, this last trip to State was a special moment.
“It was bitter sweet,” she said. “I just tried to not think about it being my last year (I wanted to) just enjoy the moment, enjoy the weekend, enjoy the team. Out of the 21 years that I’ve coached, this has been the most fun team that I’ve had. They’ve all just worked really, really hard. They’ve had that goal in mind. Their dedication and commitment to that goal was always so strong—it kept it so positive, because they wanted to work hard, they wanted to win.”
The dancers said the same.
“I felt a better sense of being more focused,” said Halverson-Studer. “It was easier this year dance-wise. We got our dances done really early and had time to go through them and be picky about it. And we haven’t had a chance to do that the last couple of years.”
On Friday, during the Jazz portion of the competition, YME breezed through prelims and touched spectator hearts in the finals with their performance of their dance “Footsteps in the Sand”. Though flawlessly executed, judges seemed to think it was an easier dance to execute than dances performed by the Aitkin All-Starz—who won the championship—and Duluth Marshall—who placed second.
On Saturday, for the High Kick competition, Aitkin again captured the title, with Cannon Falls, this time, taking second. This is the fourth consecutive year Aitkin and Cannon Falls have battled for the title. The Silhouettes, meanwhile, displayed some of the best kick height and technique they’ve ever brought to the State Tournament, but were unable to compete with the flash brought by Aitkin and Cannon Falls.
“Any time you get to the finals at the State level, it’s tough,” said Dreier. “Those top six teams in the State are really good. So, to be in the top three—that’s pretty awesome.”
After returning from State, senior co-captain Claressa Thielen wanted to thank the multitude of Silhouette supporters saying, “We just want to thank the fans and the booster club for everything they did. And we want to thank our ‘rivals’ like BOLD and (Renville County West) for cheering us on. Having them at State, too, made us feel comfortable being there...”
“I just think it was a really great ending to my years on the team,” said Tongen as she struggled to summerize the event. “It made me realize how much I love dance. I’m happy with the way it ended but I’m going to miss it.”
Class A High Kick Final Results:
2. Cannon Falls
3. Yellow Medicine East
4. Lake City
5. Lac Qui Parle Valley
6. Duluth Marshall
Class A Jazz Final Results:
2. Duluth Marshall
3. Yellow Medicine East
5. Cannon Falls
6. Lac Qui Parle Valley - D/B