by Jared Hines
Contributing Sports Writer
Melissa Bast and the rest of the Rogers dance team coaching staff were beaming after the team’s Jan. 5 home meet, in which their dancers were awarded third in both high-kick and jazz.
“We are so proud of them,” Bast said as she held the judges score packet in her hand.
The “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” mini-meet held by the Rogers dance team, was in full swing on Jan. 5, the one and only dance event held at Rogers High School in the 2016-17 dance season. Seven teams attended the event, which included both high-kick and jazz performances. Besides the Royals, the other teams that attended were Andover, Anoka, Bemidji, Buffalo, Elk River and Forest Lake.
“It’s really nice dancing at Rogers because we’re used to performing in our gym and we don’t have to adjust our formations to a new floor,” Royals senior captain Zoe Fezler said. “It’s also nice having a home meet because more fans come to support the team.”
Fezler is one of the four Royals seniors who were honored at the mini-meet, alongside teammates Emily Braesch, Ashley Huettl, and Julie Vindenes. Braesch and Huettl both plan on attending the University of Minnesota-Rochester to go into the medical field, while Fezler plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and major in Actuarial Science. Vindenes, a foreign exchange student plans on returning to Norway after her year in Minnesota to finish her schooling.
Back on the floor, the Royals performed “River of Tears” (jazz) and “Woah Nelly” (high kick) in front of the large crowd erupting with cheers for the home team. The team was happy to get back on the performance stage, after a long winter break that can sometimes throw a team off their routine.
“I feel like we performed really well in all our dances, especially coming off a long break,” Fezler said. “I think the best part of the night was getting back out on the floor and giving such good performances as a team.”
Anoka took first in both events while Forest Lake took second. While the Royals were awarded some of their best scores of the season in both events, Fezler and Co. know that their routine has a degree of difficulty that can push them to the top if they can continue to make daily improvements.
“I think as a team we need to work at consistently pushing ourselves harder,” Fezler said. “We have great routines that should take us far.”
The Royals had another good performance on Jan. 7 at Edina High School in advance of the Jan. 14 Mississippi 8 conference championship meet. The Royals team is striving for their fifth consecutive conference title, winning No. 4 at Buffalo High School a year ago. This year’s meet is held at Chisago Lakes High School.