The 16-17 dance season is off to a strong start with 10 teams breaking an 80 point average score with 20 days gone in the competition calendar. We’ve been seeing some amazing dancing already this year and its’ not even mid-December. 3 weeks of exciting preliminary conference events and early invitationals have been put in the books – lets take a look at where we stand so far…
Class A Jazz: The early leader here with only 26 performances so far is the returning state champion from Frazee. The Fly Girls broke a 72 average at their first outing at Detroit Lakes invitational last Saturday. My favorite news with this group so far is the DGF squad making a strong opening statement with a 65 average, better than several state finals teams from last year in their opening showcase at Apple Valley. With several big names without an appearance in this category, things are still wide open.
Class A Kick: Once again the Aitkin All-Stars are on the short list of who to watch for this month with their “Jack Sparrow” pirates dance. With a score coming in from only a 2 team meet, it’s a bit hard to say how things really stand against a strong Frazee kick debut. Cannon Falls also broke 70s in their debut kick performance, being only the 3rd team in class A to share in that title. It might take all year before we see the top kick names all in one place, but we’ll know more after large invites at BOLD and Alexandria around the holidays.
Class AA Jazz: Totino Grace, Benilde St. Margarets, and Sartell make up the top of the leaderboard, with 7 total teams over that 70 average right now. South St. Paul looks to keep riding a strong tide from last year in both kick and jazz divisions and looks strong against their conference matchups over in Metro East. Northern fans will notice the Sauk Rapids/Rocori battle heating up early, with Sauk Rapids looking good in the early rounds.
Class AA Kick: Faribault and Sartell both cracked 80s this weekend at Apple Valley with Austin tightly behind. 7 more teams are over that 70 point mark, with a few new faces making a splash worth mentioning. Mound Westonka, Orono and Hutchinson all took high scores in the section 3AA matchup – and will give us something interesting to watch in the Wright County Conference schedule coming up soon.
Class AAA Jazz: The level of scoring and performances in this division are really standing out with 7 teams all over 80 averages. Once again, sections 1AAA and 2AAA are really bringing us top notch dancing with the top 19 performances all coming from there. Keep an eye on the cross-sectional matchups we’ll see on upcoming invitational weekends – anyone from sections 3 and 4 should could make a mark and upset that trend at any moment.
Class AAA Kick: Eastview, Eden Prairie, and Maple Grove all take top marks in the kick division with the best yet to come later in the season when dances change again from several teams. Lakeville North and Chaska from last year’s state finals group are looking poised to stay on top, but keep an eye out for surging groups from the CLC conference up north. St. Cloud Tech has been on my rebuilding radar for a few years now and are off to the strongest start in several years. If AAA jazz is elite, then AAA kick has the depth across the division. I’m looking forward to this leaderboard to shake up in the next 3 weeks.
Great debut performances dancers! Love seeing all your talent, heart, and determination turn into something worth remembering. Stay tuned for a busy December and we’ll be back on Friday for another weekend invitational preview!