FL dancers clinch SEC title

Scores continue to climb for the Forest Lake Dance Team, which hit the road for a competitive invite at Minnetonka on Saturday and for the Suburban East Conference championships at Roseville on Monday night.

The Rangers swept at Roseville in each category to clinch the SEC title, despite five-point deductions in both varsity jazz and kick for a fall and fallen hairpiece.

Five Forest Lake athletes earned all-conference honors: seniors Rachel Rue, Mia Leeson and Emily Isaacson and juniors Aly Proulx and  Sydney Moore. Three dancers earned all-conference honorable-mention honors: seniors Maggie Jeans, Natalie Wright and sophomore Rhiannon Lasch.

Head coach Cheryl Smoczyk earned SEC Coach of the Year award.

Rhiannon Lasch, Sydney Moore and Hailey Moore perform a Russian jump during the varsity jazz routine over the weekend. Jazz took first at both Minnetonka and the SEC championships. Photos by TLC Digital Images

Rhiannon Lasch, Sydney Moore and Hailey Moore perform a Russian jump during the varsity jazz routine over the weekend. Jazz took first at both Minnetonka and the SEC championships. Photos by TLC Digital Images

The SEC title capped what was already a successful few days of dancing, as the Rangers accomplished a first for the program in attaining team-best scores at the same competition on Saturday.

Forest Lake broke 400 points in both the jazz and kick portions to take first in varsity jazz and second in varsity kick at Minnetonka. Jazz defeated dance powerhouses Spring Lake Park, Edina and Minnetonka with a total of 424 points, the highest score recorded by Forest Lake, including last season’s state-qualifying score. The host team was the only other squad to break 400 points with 407.

Jazz performed the Florence & the Machine’s song, “Breath of Life,” from the movie “Snow White and The Huntsman.” Smoczyk said the girls captured the three main parts of the story in their dance: the chase, the dream and the awakening to dreams come true.

“For this competition, we defined the story we want to tell through dance, and we earned our highest scores through routine effectiveness that we have ever earned,” she said.

The varsity kick team earned a score of 403 points while dancing to “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” from “The Great Gatsby,” all while incorporating five choreography changes.

“We had two headstands out of six not go up during our difficult highlight section,” Smoczyk said. “Lots of people will say a headstand is a risky move for dance, so take it out, but we are keeping them, as we like the look.”

Sydney Moore, Aly Proulx, Maggie Jeans, Ashley Perala, Spencer Boyd and Paige Ewert execute high kicks during a varsity kick routine. The kick squad placed second at Minnetonka and first at Roseville.

Sydney Moore, Aly Proulx, Maggie Jeans, Ashley Perala, Spencer Boyd and Paige Ewert execute high kicks during a varsity kick routine. The kick squad placed second at Minnetonka and first at Roseville.

Minnetonka took first in kick with 421 points, having beat repeat state entrant, Wayzata, this season in kick.

With two weeks left in the regular season and nine of 41 athletes injured, Smoczyk is hoping to recuperate quickly to return to state this season.

“This is really our year,” Smoczyk said. “My kids want to win more than any other team I have coached at Forest Lake, and they are making good choices to put themselves in the best position to win.”

Next, the Rangers hit the road on Saturday for the Wayzata Invitational, starting at 9 a.m.

up arrow