Bemidji High School Dance team prepares for sectional competition today
Bemidji High School's varsity dance team, the Blue Angels, competes today in the 4AAA sectional competition in Elk River.
The competition begins with High Kick performances at 11:30 a.m. and Jazz Funk routines at 1:15 p.m. at Elk River High School.
Teams from Blaine, Andover, Coon Rapids, Champlin Park, St. Cloud Tech, St. Francis, Moorhead, Anoka, Elk River, Brainerd and Duluth East will be competing.
Head coach Amy Merschman said she is hoping the team will put on a superb performance at the sectional competition.
"We're not going to worry about how we place," she said. "We just want to make sure this is our best performance yet."
Last year the BHS team played host to the 4AA sectional competition. This year, the team was bumped up to Class 4AAA after the Minnesota State High School League updated its high school enrollment lists. Throughout the winter the BHS dance team has competed against larger school districts like Maple Grove, Brainerd, Blaine and Elk River.
Merschman said with the team moving up to a larger class within the State High School League, the competition has been tough. The team has been preparing for performances not only physically, but also mentally, she added.
"We don't want the girls to be intimidated or nervous because it really affects their performance," she said. "We're talking a lot about how to be mentally prepared. They need to get their heads in the game."
Whether or not the team qualifies to perform at the state tournament, which is set for Feb. 17-18, Merschman said the team plans on attending the event, even if it is to observe.
One of the challenges facing some members of the team leading up to the sectional competition, Merschman said, is staying motivated to make routines better.
"The girls have spent a lot of time together and we're trying to the best we can," she said. "Sometimes we throw in some team bonding exercises. We try to help them learn how to dance as a team and get closer to each other. The girls are really excited for this weekend."