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Dance: Woodbury twice takes third at East Ridge SEC meet

Woodbury's Peyton Brown dances in the high kick event Monday. (Photo by John Molene)1 / 8
East Ridge dancers (left to right) Amira Mazar, Amber Tacheny and Paige Hermann kick up their heels in the SEC dance team meet Monday. (Photo by John Molene)2 / 8
Taylor Wold of East Ridge, right, smiles as she dances in the high kick competition Monday. (Photo by John Molene)3 / 8
Carly Deran of Park begins her dance in the jazz competition Monday in the conference dance meet at East Ridge. (Photo by John Molene)4 / 8
Park students (left to right) Simone Barries, Savannah Long and Nevaeh Long dance in the high kick event Monday in the Suburban East Conference meet at East Ridge. (Photo by John Molene)5 / 8
Nini Salmonson of Park shows her emotions as the Park dance team performs in jazz Monday. (Photo by John Molene)6 / 8
Woodbury's dance team strikes a pose as they get set to perform their jazz routine. The Royals finished third in the Suburban East Conference meet Monday in both jazz and kick. (Photo by John Molene)7 / 8
Woodbury dancers (left to right) Ellie Cooper, Rommy Romero and Allison Urbanski perform in the high kick division Monday. (Photo by John Molene)8 / 8

Suburban East Conference dance team powerhouses Forest Lake and Mounds View did as well as expected Monday night.

But it was a surprising Woodbury team nipping at the pointed toes of the leaders in both jazz and kick events in an eight-team conference dance team meet at East Ridge.

“We kind of had a rough start to the day, and my girls were very mentally drained,” Woodbury head coach Saige DeFlorin said. “So I was happy with them coming back, and they killed all of their performances. And they came out and showed how mentally and physically strong they are.”

Forest Lake won both the jazz and kick competitions, with Mounds View finishing a close second in both events.

The Woodbury Royals were third in both the varsity jazz and kick competitions.

Eight conference teams competed Monday – every one except White Bear Lake which doesn't offer dance – as well as nine junior varsity teams. Only results for the top three teams in each event were announced.

The two third-place finishes was another move up the standings for the Royals. Competing in the Lakeville North Invitational nine days ago, Woodbury was sixth in the Class AAA kick division and seventh in jazz.  In a SEC meet Dec. 5, Woodbury was third in kick and fourth in jazz.

East Ridge dances in the Henry Sibley Invitational Jan. 7.

East Ridge, Woodbury and Park compete in the conference finals Jan. 11 at Cretin-Derham Hall.

Both East Ridge and Park coaches thought their teams did well Monday.

“The team really did a nice job of keeping their energy up, and it was a good way to start winter break,” said East Ridge assistant coach Melissa Vogler. “I think kick was stronger. It’s always such a crowd pleaser. But we saw a lot of great technique in jazz.

“We’re very proud of the growth that they’ve made so far, and we’re looking forward to adding some extra difficulty in a few of the dances and changing things up a little bit to keep it interesting for the girls and the audience,” said Vogler.

“They did an amazing job,” said Park assistant coach Heidi Karbon. “They've improved their skills. It was a long night, and they did really well.”

East Ridge dances in the Henry Sibley Invitational Jan. 7.

Woodbury, East Ridge and Park will all compete in the conference finals Jan. 11 at Cretin-Derham Hall.