In Minnesota, the winters are freezing, but when the high school high kick dance teams get together to compete in the state championship, the competition is heated. The state championship is a real barn burner.
High Kick dance teams are no joke around here. And in this video Lakeville North High School’s team, the LakeLiners, are one of the leading contenders for the top prize.
High Kick has been a staple of Minnesota highschool life since before we could remember. As history tells it, the dance competitions started in the mid-1970s when dance team advisors put together the first state danceline competition. By 1980, schools came together to create better ways to organize the dance season and the state tournament competition.
Minnesota Association of Dancelines (MAD) was created with new guidelines, principles, and training for judges.
Lakeville North is a AAA competing High School located in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis and for years they have been one of the top dance teams to beat.
Each year they hold tryouts in the fall for the 16 week season where they compete in regional competitions and events leading up to the big mama jama, the State Tournament held at Minneapolis’ Target Center, home of the NBA’s Timberwolves and WNBA’s Lynx.
Lakeville North’s Lakeliners are the pride of their school. They all look great in this season’s stunning dance costumes. The school colors are red and white and the designers really make a splash with the ladies in red dancing across the stadium floor.
The crowds in the Target Center all dress in their school colors, and they sit together to support their own school. Pride runs deep each year as the student dancers compete for the state championship.
For the High Kick competition, the dance has certain guides and parameters that must be included in the choreography. The team must perform 40-65 High Kicks in a 2:30-3:00 dance routine.
As you can see from watching this performance, the students must be in great physical shape in order to do they do on the court.
Lakeville North has a list of expectations they have for their dancers, and it’s not just to be at peak physical fitness. Some of the Lakeliner’s expectations are:
“Give it everything, every time!”
“We CAN do it and we will do it!”
“Attitude is EVERYTHING! If you believe that practice is going to be great, it will be!! If you think practice is going to hard/ difficult, it is going to be! You are what you think you are!”
Competitive High Kick Dance has some serious judging criteria. These judges don’t play when it comes to the state championships.
High Kicks are scored by kick technique, height, and difficulty. Judges also look for posture, upper and lower body control, and timing of each kick.
Judges also apply a sharp eye to the choreography. The routines are scored on visual effectiveness, creativity, and practicality of content. And to go even deeper, judges watch for movement, floor space, transitions, and formations.
When it comes to difficulty, the judges are watching. Some of the factors that are scored include the pace of movements, combinations, and flexibility.
Minnesotans don’t joke when they talk about state competitions. You can see the level of competition among those in the crowd. As you’ll notice in this video, the only folks cheering for the dancers on the floor are from their own cheering section.
The rest of the auditorium sits nervously wondering if this team is better than their team.
You can’t keep that school pride under wraps when your team is on the floor.
Even though the Lakeville North Lakeliners executed a stunning performance, they didn’t win the title this year. The state championship went to AAA danceline powerhouse Eastview High.
Watch their incredible routine below!
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