MARSHALL - Members of the Marshall Tiger Dance Team will be heading to Target Center in two weeks, to compete in the state dance tournament. The Tigers placed second in high kick at the Section 3AA dance team competition Saturday.
"Their hard work paid off. We're looking forward to state," said Amber Jans, head coach for the Marshall High School dance team.
"We're really excited. It's been kind of a journey this year," said Hannah Pfeiffer, a senior on the dance team and co-captain. Marshall won second place in the high-kick dance division, which qualifies the team for state competition. However, Jans and team members noted, it wasn't a given for the team. Marshall was ranked fifth in the section going into Saturday's competition.
"It was a really big deal for us," said senior dance team member and co-captain Josie Nelson. "A lot of us were actually nervous about it."
Jans said there was an element of uncertainty going into section competition as well. The MHS dancers hadn't competed against other section teams since the early part of the season. The Tigers' routine had changed since then, and they didn't know how the performance would measure up.
But, Jans said, the dancers gave one of their best performances Saturday.
"They went on, and they pulled it off," with an excellent performance, Jans said. "We're proud of them."
"We just really pulled it together," Pfeiffer said. "Everyone really came together as a team."
Advancing to state in the high-kick division, but not the jazz division, may be to the Tiger dancers' advantage, Jans and team members said.
"We're excited, because we can concentrate on one dance for the next two weeks," said Nelson said. Jans said the team will be able to fine-tune its technique and endurance and all the different elements that will help the high-kick routine be the best it can be.
Jans said this year will be her first time at state as a coach, and she's looking forward to it. Pfeiffer and Nelson said they and their teammates are also happy to have a chance to get the "state experience."
"What's also really great is we have two seventh-graders on the team who will be dancing at state," Pfeiffer said. The experience should be rewarding for both new and veteran team members, she said.
The state dance competition will be Feb. 14-15 at Target Center.