Maple Grove Dance Team Wins State in Jazz
Maple Grove Senior High is no stranger to athletic success.
But for the dance team, a state title had been elusive for senior captain Ashley Alden, who’s been around longer than most of her teammates
“We haven’t won state in eight years, since 2015,” said Alden, who joined the dance team in seventh grade. “That was the last time we went to state.”
That all changed this year.
With a state title on the line in mid-Febraury, the team danced to the song “Hurt” by Johnny Cash.
When it was all said and done, Alden and the rest of her squad achieved the goal that had eluded them for so long.
“The 2023 Jazz state champions in Class 3A, with a rank score of five, is the team from Maple Grove,” the public address announcer said to the Target Center crowd.
“When they announced our rank score of five, I was like, ‘holy cow, we won with a perfect rank,’ Alden said. “And then when they said it, I just started crying, because I just couldn’t believe that.”
“I can’t explain it,” said Charlie Weber, a junior on the dance team. “All the people around you cheering, it felt really good.”
Some titles are won with touchdowns, home runs, or last second buzzer beaters. But for the Maple Grove Dance Team, it was chemistry, hard work, athleticism and style that earned them their state championship.
“We were able to obtain that goal as a team because we all wanted it and we all worked for what we wanted,” Alden said.
This is Maple Grove’s seventh state title in jazz.
Meanwhile, the team also had its first male participant, junior Ivan Beetoe. He’s the first male dancer in Minnesota to ever win a state title in jazz; he was also named to the Wells Fargo All Tournament Team.
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