FL varsity jazz takes fourth of 14

The Forest Lake dancers celebrated a fourth-place finish in varsity jazz out of 14 Class AAA schools at the Blaine Invitational over the weekend, despite an injury scare mid-performance.

Eighth-grader Hailey Moore, subbing in for her injured sister, sophomore Sydney Moore, nearly broke her nose during the slide into the middle splits after a triple turn about halfway into the routine, but continued competing.

Head coach Cheryl Smoczyk was concerned about calling the performance to check on her athlete, but that would have eliminated Moore from the kick team’s lineup later in the day.

“There were a ton of falls from other teams, since it was an old floor and has been waxed a million times,” Smoczyk said. “It may be clean and looks nice, but it doesn’t prevent injuries. I thought Hailey did a great job of getting up and continuing to perform. She danced beautifully for us.”

Smoczyk was also pleased with a fourth-place finish in jazz with two key dancers out due to injury: sophomores Moore and Ali Clasen, who was all-conference last year as a ninth-grader. Both girls hope to be back in the swing of things by mid-January.

The kick team performed among a strong field on Saturday, finishing middle of the pack in seventh and using every alternate it had.

Despite a lower finish than expected, Smoczyk said she is proud of her team.

“I am really just delighted,” the head coach said. “It’s a really exciting thing that we finished well against some strong teams last weekend with the injuries we’ve had. Not to say our alternates aren’t dancing well, but it can be hard to jump in mid-season, and they are doing great.”

The Forest Lake dancers showcased their new lineup and choreograpy at the girls’ basketball game on Tuesday night. and next will travel to the Minnetonka Invitational this weekend, and will face four section opponents: Henry Sibley, Cretin-Derham Hall, Mounds View and Spring Lake Park.

While Forest Lake defeated Spring Lake Park earlier in the season by just one point, it has yet to beat Mounds View this year in the kick competition.