FLDT shows improvement at Wayzata

The Forest Lake Dance Team is keeping its hot streak alive, jumping numerous spots from last year’s 17th-place finish in both jazz and kick atthe Wayzata Invitational. The jazz team took fifth overall of 22 teams, while the kick team came in 11th.

Wayzata took top honors in jazz while Eden Prairie captured first in kick.

The Rangers tallied a score of 400 in jazz and 395 in kick in what head coach Cheryl Smoczyk calls a feat, “given that the judges at this caliber of competition are usually very stingy with scores.”

Smoczyk added that although the jazz squad didn’t perform the best turns and the kick team didn’t execute its best formations, both groups danced clean routines and earned high scores in degree of difficulty and choreography.

In the process, Forest Lake defeated Henry Sibley after falling to the Warriors earlier this season at the section rival’s home invitational.

Last season, the Rangers qualified for the state competition in jazz and took 12th place of 12 teams behind teams including Blaine (sixth), Eagan (seventh), Brainerd (eighth), Burnsville (10th) and Prior Lake (11th). The Rangers beat all five state entrants at Wayzata.

“Anyone who follows dance knows that we knocked off some perennial greats at this meet,” Smoczyk said.

Next, the Rangers travel to the Blaine Invitational, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.