About Coach Erin

Erin is a 17 year veteran dance team coach in Minnesota. A 3 time MADT coach of the year (2009, 2010, 2014) and winner of 2 state championships in high kick with the Cannon Falls Bomber Dance Team. In high school Erin danced for Winona and Apple Valley high schools. Erin is a nationally known blogger, writing for the Radio City Rockettes and a Hollywood movie among other projects. Erin also teaches on a freelance contractor basis for many MN high school teams and can be contacted for date/time availability at mnhsdanceteam@gmail.com


Sections Preview – Post Season Kickoff

Well we made another trip around the sun and it’s time for the 10th annual Sections Preview.  Sometimes I have to catch myself when it feels like I’m not getting a day older, but somehow my first state was 22 years ago.  Turns out this tradition easily snuck up into 10 years old when I wasn’t paying attention.  Case and point, when I first saw the Totino Grace jazz routine for 19-20 my first reaction was – “they’ve done this song before!” (and it’s a classic) Then I had to make myself count back and realize just how long ago 1999 really was.  None of the kids on the team now were alive back then. Talk about a reality check.  You know you had a good dance if it still feels like it was just being crowned state champs yesterday. 

Fortunately, there’s still plenty of room in my dance team memory bank for more of your fabulous routines of 2020.  The great thing about this time of year is each weekend of sections and state – someone’s going to do something special.  I can’t wait to see you all achieve that moment for yourselves. 

This kind of speculation is hard because every year I have to share opinions that are only my own, in an attempt to provide dance team with sports reporting coverage. Just know I wish all our high school athletes the best of luck and I admire all your hard work this year.  Our students are what make this sport special and I want to take a minute to acknowledge all of you. 

Section 4A: Wadena High School

The only A event this weekend will probably have the greatest shakeups we’ll see this year in that class.  Frazee is looking traditionally strong, then opportunities await.  Duluth Marshall and Aitkin are in the mix, but newcomers from Dilworth GF and Pierz are having great years with solid scores.  Crosby and Bagley are in the hunt in the kick division as they have been the last few years.  If you’re keeping count, that’s 7 teams with 3 berths available in each style.  Really this might be a chance for DGF who always seems to be just outside looking in to make a real move.  Pierz is also a sentimental favorite after years of state appearances in their history but a long drought recently.  No matter what, there will be both tears of joy and real disappointment after this one. 

Section 2AA: North Branch High School

As is tradition here, Benilde St. Margarets and Totino Grace will be looking to see who gets top honors.  These two haven’t really matched up much or competed frequently enough for me to get a sense of who’s really doing well.  Totino has more recent scores, but I never count out the Knightettes either.  As for the battle for 3rd place, Zimmerman would like to make their second trip to Target Center, and Hermantown/Proctor has their eyes on the prize as well.  St. Francis, North Branch, and Chisago Lakes are the dark horses here and have been quietly preparing for the big event. 

Section 3AA: Delano High School

One of my favorite AA events is always this section because it’s just top to bottom quality.  Mound Westonka and Orono are probably a decent bet.  What order in anything is a complete guess as they have flipped momentum back and forth during the season.  Marshall, Hutchinson, and Belle Plaine are in the thick of things for spots, and I wouldn’t even say for sure in what styles.  Speculators might take a determined Belle Plaine group or go with consistent performers in Marshall or Hutchinson.  Things are going to have to hit on the day of. 

Section 4AA: Monticello High School

Sartell is having a banner year and look solidly in control in this difficult section.  St. Cloud Tech continues to disrupt the status quo and has won some big events this year that will set them up nicely.  Rocori has been making some moves on the scoresheet in the last half of the year and will not want to settle for staying home.  Wild cards will be from St. Cloud Cathedral and Becker.  Cathedral is historically a top performer, and Becker has the confidence of a conference championship and a program-best season.  These results will certainly have a different look than seasons past.

Section 2AAA: Edina High School

Usually this one is the most “fun” to speculate on because everyone is so good.  This weekend, this comes in as only #3 on the drama list. (which means this is a crazy good year in dance team!)  Double state champs Wayzata are looking like the leaders (if there is such a thing) with Maple Grove, Edina, Eden Prairie, Chaska, Hopkins, and Chanhassen all with 80+ averages somewhere in there.  Maple Grove jazz is having a special year having come out right from day one with something polished.  Chaska’s difficult chess themed kick routine is getting a lot of attention and should be a threat.  Eden Prairie seems to be getting some of the magic back and might be able to stand out in the crowd, but it’s not going to be easy.  Edina will have home court and tends to shine this time of year so don’t overlook them in either style. 

Section 4AAA: Forest Lake High School

Brainerd will try to repeat as double section champs here this weekend, but kick looks like it will be a battle with Anoka.  Blaine and Sauk Rapids will have a solid shot at state tickets, with a Blaine double qualification on the horizon for the first time in a while.  Forest Lake and Duluth East are outsiders looking in here, but with Tech moved to AA, the door is there to walk thru. 

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