FLDT hauls in medals at ‘Tonka camp

Rangers net first-place team trophy; six named All-Americans


Six Rangers earned All-American honors at the UDA camp. Front: Rachel Rue, Chandler Boyd and Kelly Lukkonen. Back: Mia Leeson, Emily Proulx and Hayley Waldoch.

The rising Forest Lake Dance Team provided some positive signs of what may be to come with a highly successful Universal Dance Association (UDA) camp in Minnetonka last week.

The Rangers earned a haul of honors at the instructive event, which ran from July 18-21 and included over 200 dancers from 25 Minnesota and South Dakota schools.

Six Rangers performed solos in front of the whole camp, and each earned an All-American medal and an invitation to join a tour to London next year. The six are incoming senior captains Emily Proulx and Hayley Waldoch, junior captains Mia Leeson and Rachel Rue and seniors Chandler Boyd and Kelly Lukkonen.

“Each solo brought tears to my eyes, as the performers were given choreography to learn and then each had to choreograph their own ending, highlighting what they do best,” said FLDT coach Cheryl Smoczyk.

As a team, Forest Lake took home a first-place award for the performance of routines learned at camp. It also earned a fifth-place trophy for presentation of a routine choreographed in advance.

A big “first” provided another cause for celebration. Each of the 56 Rangers, from rookies to captains, earned a blue ribbon for material learned at camp.

“[That] is so exciting for what it says about our potential this season,” Smoczyk said. “Hopkins, Mounds View and Champlin Park were also awarded trophies at the camp, though, and we will see each of them at competitions this season. We have to continue to work to live up to our potential!”

The camp also included masters classes taught by noted Los Angeles choreographers Bonita Lovitt and Chris Dupre.

This is the last week of registration for FLDT’s Kamp Kicktastic, which runs each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from July 31-Aug. 23. The camp is open to dancers entering seventh-11th grades. Register at communityed4u.org.