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Dance: SEC season wraps up for Park, East Ridge and Woodbury

Sophomore Peyton Brown of Woodbury performs in the kick division Wednesday in the SEC meet. The Royals finished third in the event. (Photo by John Molene)1 / 9
Dancer Ellie Howe of East Ridge flashes a big smile as the team wraps up their high kick routine in the SEC finals Wednesday. (Photo by John Molene)2 / 9
East Ridge dancers Emma Ballenthin and Amber Tacheny compete in the SEC finals Wednesday at Cretin-Derham Hall High School. (Photo by John Molene)3 / 9
Park High dancers Nevaeh Long, Savannah Long and Simone Barries, from left, kick up a storm in the SEC meet Wednesday. (Photo by John Molene)4 / 9
Senior Savannah Long of Park competes in the SEC meet Wednesday. (Photo by John Molene)5 / 9
The Woodbury High team kicked their way to third place in the high kick division in the SEC finals Wednesday at Cretin-Derham Hall. (Photo by John Molene)6 / 9
Park dancer Rachel Tourville participates in the Wolfpack dance routine during the SEC championship meet. (Photo by John Molene)7 / 9
Natalie Villanueva of Woodbury shows off her high kick in the SEC meet Wednesday. (Photo by John Molene)8 / 9
Senior Amira Mazar of East Ridge dances in the kick competition Wednesday. (Photo by John Molene)9 / 9

Woodbury kicked its way into undisputed third in the high kick division in the Suburban East Conference finals Wednesday at Cretin-Derham Hall.

Woodbury snagged a fourth-place finish in varsity jazz to go along with its top-three result in high kick. East Ridge's dance teams finished fourth in kick and fifth in jazz, while Park's kick team moved up the conference standings.

The Royals clinched a third-place finish in the overall conference high kick standings with the third-place finish in the SEC finals.

“I am so proud of how my girls danced both routines tonight,” Woodbury coach Saige DeFlorin said. “They were by far the strongest I have seen them so far this season. The girls felt great about their performances and had fun, and that's all I can ask for as a coach. The fact that we came out of our conference season with a third place overall for kick was just icing on the cake. I couldn't have asked for a better conference season.”

Forest Lake and Mounds View went one-two in both jazz and kick. Those two teams also finished first and second in the season conference standings.

Following the Rangers in second through seventh places in varsity kick were Mounds View, Woodbury, East Ridge, Roseville, Park and Cretin-Derham Hall.

Second through seventh places in varsity jazz were Mounds View, Roseville, Woodbury, East Ridge, Cretin-Derham Hall, Stillwater and Park.

East Ridge and Park coaches both praised the performances of their teams.

“They did great,” East Ridge co-head coach Ashley Stoffel said. “Jazz was a little shaky, to begin with, and they really pushed through and gave us a lot of energy at the end. And then kick, they did a phenomenal job of coming out and really pushing through that dance as well.”

After the SEC finals, Stoeffel hinted at what the East Ridge dancers need to work on between now and the section tournament.

“Technique," she said. "We’ve come a really long way with the dance. We kind of took a chance with our jazz dance this year and did a different style that we’ve never done before. They’ve done a really nice job of pushing through and learning how to dance that type of style, so I’m excited to see what they can get in almost a month.”

Park coach Haleigh Thompson felt the team's performances in both events were two of the best this season.

“I was really proud of them,” Thompson said. “I think this is the strongest they’ve been throughout the entire dance. They nailed their kicks. What needs to be worked on is we have some memory mistakes. And that can be fixed in our high kick dance. Our varsity jazz dance, I was blown away. That’s the best they’re ever done it. I was very proud of them. We have three more competitions to go and hopefully we’ll be able to keep moving up and keep increasing our scores.”

The district teams will compete in separate meets before the big section meet next month. All three teams are set to compete in the Class 3A, Section 3 tournament on Feb. 11 at Bloomington Kennedy High School.

Woodbury is next scheduled to compete in the Bloomington Kennedy Invite on Saturday, Jan. 21. East Ridge's next planned event is the Simley Invitational on Jan. 28, and Park is headed to the Farmington Invitational on Feb. 2.