by Jared Hines
Contributing Sports Writer
The song “Blown Away” blasted through the Rogers High School speakers on Jan. 5 as the Elk River Dance Team started their routine that they have practiced, performed, and repeated hundreds of times through the 2016-17 season.
The song—a remix of country singer Carrie Underwood’s hits throughout the years—was chosen early in the year by the team as the one they wanted to use for their 2016-17 jazz routine. Together, the team choreographed a routine with the coaching staff, and away they went.
“It has been a pretty good season so far,” said Elks dancer Jill Humphrey. “We have been competing against some of the top teams in Minnesota.”
The Elks season has been successful, including a second-place finish in high-kick and fourth place in jazz at the Fridley Invitational earlier in December. At the “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” mini-meet at Rogers, the Elks took fifth in both kick and jazz.
“I think the team did really well tonight, especially considering all our changes recently,” dancer Heather Anderson said. “We had a lot of energy during both dances, which helped the overall feel of the day.”
Anoka took first in kick and jazz on Thursday night, performing to “14k Gold” for the team’s high kick song and “What a Wonderful World” for jazz. Forest Lake took second in both events and Rogers took third.
“I think we definitely did our best in both dances and we hit a lot of parts that don’t always work out in practice, which is exciting,” Humphrey said. “I think we worked really hard as a team and just did what we love to do.”
As the season progresses for the Elks, the team still has elements of their dances to work on, something that the team wants to strive for as the season is already nearing its end. Their next performance is on Jan. 14 at Anoka High School.
“Moving forward, our coaches will likely stress that we should continue working very hard and getting our mind game in the right place as far as confidence and performing goes,” Anderson said.
Teammate Humphrey agreed, saying the coaching staff is great at pushing the team and continuing to strive forward.
“We’ve all had a really great season so far,” Humphrey said. “We look forward to improving our dances and scores throughout the rest of the season.”