The Detroit Lakes Laker Dance Team got a strong start on their state-bound goal Saturday, Dec. 7 at their home competition, placing first at both varsity levels.

Laker jazz dancers competed against five other teams: Buffalo, Pequot Lakes, Alexandria and Moorhead. None of them came close to DL.

All five judges for the competition gave the Lakers a rank score of three. The Alexandria Cardinals took second place with a rank score of 9.

The Lakers' lyrical routine, which is generally a slower jazz dance that's meant to be more emotional, was a change for them this year. Their song was a version of "I Want to Know What Love Is," originally sung by Foreigner. The routine displayed strong, in-sync turning sets and formations across the floor.

Laker dancers keep their legs pointed and at almost identically even heights for a leap during their "I Want to Know What Love Is" jazz dance. (Desiree Bauer / Tribune)
Laker dancers keep their legs pointed and at almost identically even heights for a leap during their "I Want to Know What Love Is" jazz dance. (Desiree Bauer / Tribune)

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Clean, strong turning sets continued in the Lakers' kick routine. This is the first time they have ever had a fouette (or a la second) turn in their high kick routine, head coach Britton Ramsey said in a previous Tribune article.

The kick routine, set to the song "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, started off with slow, precise moves for about the first minute, then ramped up into a high-energy routine with the rest of the song.

The AA kick competition was slightly closer with rank scores, but the Lakers still pulled ahead with another rank score of three, placing them in first. The Moorhead Highlights placed second with six.

Laker dancers kick high for their kickline during the "Don't Stop Me Now" performance. (Desiree Bauer / Tribune)
Laker dancers kick high for their kickline during the "Don't Stop Me Now" performance. (Desiree Bauer / Tribune)

At the junior varsity level, the Laker jazz team followed the first-place trend with another winning routine to "Never Going Back." The up-coming varsity team showcased their turns and leaps, even adding in spotting-fouettes for a select group.

The majority of the judges again ranked the Laker team in first place, giving them a rank score of three. The Highlights again took second place with a rank score of 7.5.

A new team this year for the Lakers is the B-squad jazz team. B-squad jazz teams are a growing idea for many schools, allowing dancers that aren't quite at the junior varsity level to still learn skills and compete. The Lakers danced to "Grown."

Detroit Lakes, Frazee, and Moorhead all had B-squad teams compete, with Moorhead placing first. They had a rank score of 3. DL came in second with 6 and Frazee third with 9.

The Laker junior varsity kick team also took second place. They donned a raincoat costume and performed to "Thunder," earning a rank score of six. Highlights took first with a score of three.

The A competition

The Frazee Fly Girls swept the high kick and jazz competition in Class A competition.

The varsity jazz team danced to "CyberWar," a spoken-word song choice highlighting the connection we have to our phones and the internet. The majority of the judges ranked Frazee in first place, giving them a rank score of three and winning the category.

The Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Rebels followed with a second-place finish score of six.

Both teams took the exact same places in the kick competition as well. Frazee performed to "Smells Like School Spirit," an up-beat routine with old-school Frazee Fly Girl jackets as costumes. The judges again gave the Fly Girls a score of three and the Rebels a rank score of eight.

Sister-duo Greta (left) and Sophie Nelson turn fouette's as two other groups perform different choreography during Frazee's "CyberWar" jazz dance. (Desiree Bauer / Tribune)
Sister-duo Greta (left) and Sophie Nelson turn fouette's as two other groups perform different choreography during Frazee's "CyberWar" jazz dance. (Desiree Bauer / Tribune)

For the A junior varsity teams, the Crosby-Ironton Rangerettes and United-Clay-Becker Mystix won the jazz and high kick divisions. The Rangerettes won the jazz category with a rank score of three, Frazee taking second place with six. The Mystix won the kick category with a rank score of 6.5, followed by Bagley with a score of 7.5.