FLDT’s breakout season ends at sections

Rangers place fifth in jazz, sixth in kick

Sydney Moore leaps during the jazz team’s routine at Saturday’s section meet. (Photo by TLC Digital Images)

Forest Lake Dance Team earned its highest placing in Section 3AAA as it is currently constituted, but it was not quite enough on Saturday to extend the best season in program history.

The Rangers placed fifth in jazz and sixth in kick at the section meet at Bloomington Kennedy. Three teams from each section advance to state in each style.

“We finished strong!” said coach Cheryl Smoczyk. “This is the highest rank we have achieved since [2011 state qualifier] Spring Lake Park joined our Section three years ago, and we were the top team from our conference in both kick and jazz.”

FLDT earned four scores of 9 in jazz, but had the unenviable task of following a tremendous performance from Spring Lake Park, which earned four perfect scores from the seven-judge panel. Smoczyk said her kick team had excellent placement and formations but lacked consistency in kick height and showmanship.

Spring Lake Park, Eagan and Centennial advanced from the 14-team field to the state tournament.

Forest Lake won its first Suburban East Conference championship this winter, sweeping the jazz and kick titles. Also, the team won academic all-state honors for the sixth consecutive season. The recognition goes to squads with an average GPA of at least 3.5.

“We are very proud of our season this year, moving from what the judges would call an average team to an above-average team in most areas while giving more kids opportunities to dance,” Smoczyk said.