by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Many of the highlights of Cassie Reimann’s young life so far have come from dancing, but nothing can top the Justin Bieber concert during ninth grade when the heart-throb himself picked her out of the Target Center crowd and sang to her on stage.
“I always thought if I ever met Justin Bieber, there’s all these things I would say and do,” gushes the ERHS senior, “but none of that happened, because I was in shock! I was like, omigosh, I can’t believe this is happening! He was so gorgeous. But I wasn’t nervous at all.”
Reimann, voted Elk River Dance Team’s outstanding dancer this year (by teammates) and was the lone Elk making all-conference, is affected equally by Bieber Fever and Dance Fever but let’s talk about dance first.
At 5-foot-3 1/2 and 130-pounds, she is a supremely fit athlete as shown by this photo taken when she charmed the audience at ERHS’s Snowstorm Talent Show last month at Zabee. Her powerful yet graceful physique is due to good genes (her dad was in hockey, her mom in track), year-round dancing and the dancer’s regimen of running, sit-ups, pull-ups, aerobics and jumping jacks.
She excels at the many turns, pirouette’s, leaps and high kicks involved in team dance. She explains that “the basics of dance are from ballet and the more ballet technique you have, they better you’ll be … but you need emotion and passion, too.” She also enjoys the challenge of building endurance required to snap off 60 or more kicks in a four-minute dance.
Starting at age three, she was with Dancing on Broadway, then Jennifer’s Dance and currently Genesis. Now that the ERDT season is over she practices daily at the Maple Grove club for six competitions in March, April and May. Unlike dance team, these are individual endeavors.
Her skills and dedication made her co-captain this year (with Shyler Egan).
“Cassie ate and breathed dancing and did anything we ask of her,” said Alyssa Sha, ERDT coach. “She takes everything very seriously. She is a good leader. She helps keep the girls motivated and focused when they need more positivity.”
Reimann said serving as a captain was one of her favorite dance experiences, along with two conference meets this year when ERDT placed first and second in high-kick, and last May when she and Nicole Gruba got third place in ERHS’s annual May talent contest, Starfest. She plans to continue in dance by trying out for St. Cloud State’s team while attending the tech college there.
Now, about that Bieber episode. With her friend Rachel Martin, Cassie was just to the right of the stage when she was tapped by one of the singer’s managers and asked if she’d like to join Justin on stage. “Ummm, yes!” Cassie managed to blurt out. Backstage, she was welcomed by the backup singers and dancers, and the opening act, Stunners. A dancer named Antonio told her to “just look into Justin’s big brown eyes” during the song. “Then Justin came down the steps and gave me roses and hugged me,” she said. The singer led her on stage, both waving and smiling, and crooned “One Less Lonely Girl” to her, a delight captured for posterity on You Tube.
“After the concert, people were leaving the Twins game at the same time, and they were saying, ‘The Twins won!’ and I was like, ‘Yeah? Well, I got on stage with Justin Bieber!’ ”
THE REIMANN SCORECARD
Personal file — Age: 16 … Family: Shannon Reimann and Jeff Reiman; younger sister Kylee … Sport: dance team … Other activities: Link, Serve, National Honor Society … Academics: 3.67 GPA … Next year: St. Cloud Technical College, sound technology (medical)
Favorite stuff — Classes: Photo, Econ, English … TV show: “Pretty Little Liars” … Movies: “Pitch Perfect” and the ” Step-Up” dance movies … Music: Justin Bieber … Food: Chipotle (burritoes), Subway (turkey) … Drink: Mt Dew … Teams: Elk teams, especially hockey, and Vikings … Athlete: Alyssa Ness of Northland School of Dance