High Kick and Jazz State 2020

Image taken from: http://www.startribune.com/dance-team-state-tournament-high-kick-competition/567907861/?c=n&clmob=y#15

On February 14th and 15th, at Target Center, the State Dance Competition for 2020 was held.

Many different teams competed to go to finals. The teams for class A Jazz were: Duluth Marshall, Frazee, Houston, Minnewaska, BOLD, and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

The teams for class AA Jazz were: Marshall, Totino-Grace, Rocori, Benlide-St. Margaret’s, Fairbault, and Simley.

The teams for class AAA Jazz were: Lakeville North, Blaine, Centennial, Brainerd, Anoka, and Edina.

To find more of the teams that competed go to: Jazz Preliminary. 

Every team did an excellent job but the teams that stood out the most to me were Simley and Edina.

Simley had a beautiful jazz dance. They had amazing spotting on their turns and many different types of leaps that were done well. Their song was upbeat and interesting for a jazz dance. Their costumes didn’t catch the eye, which made the dance a little less interesting. Overall, they did a wonderful job and the only thing I think they could have improved was better pointed toes and to incorporate more choreography compared to skills.

Edina had a very dramatic jazz dance. They also spotted very well on their turns. Their turns looked difficult. The whole dance was a bit chaotic. I think there was too much going on at once. Their music was quite lyrical for a jazz dance. Overall, they did a fantastic job, and the only thing I would suggest they work on is making it less chaotic and more put together. 

On February 15th, the high kick competition was also held at Target Center. The teams for class A Kick were: Frazee, Piez, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, St. Charles, Yellow Medicine East, and Cannon Falls.

The teams for class AA Kick were: Totino-Grace, Rocori, Zimmerman, Orono, St. Cloud Tech, and Simley.

The teams for class AAA Kick were: Centennial, Anoka, Chaska, Lakeville North, Spring Lake Park, and Eastview.

To find more of the teams that competed fo to: High Kick Preliminary. 

Once again every team did an excellent job but the teams that stood out the most to me were Austin and Simley.

Austin had a kick dance that I’ve never seen before. The dance was based off of the movie It. During their dance all of their kicks had pointed toes and they were all together. Their costumes were very interesting. Having 2 different colored pant legs are very hard in kick because if you don’t get your timing right on your kick you can tell exactly what person did it. They also had makeup on that made them look more like a clown. Overall, I didn’t find anything to critique their dance.

Simley had yet another beautiful kick dance. They had these amazing pink costumes. The mashup for their song was upbeat and catchy. Most of their kicks were together. One thing I would suggest to them is working on perfecting their skills more and kick height for some. Overall, they did a fabulous job. 

The Iowa caucus

By Jillian Armstrong

Image taken from: https://www.britannica.com/event/Iowa-caucuses/images-videos

Most people have heard about the Iowa caucus, and even it’s results this year. Most people, however, don’t know why the caucuses are so important and the influence it has.

The Iowa caucuses are biennial electoral events for members of the Democratic and Republican parties in the state of Iowa. The Iowa caucus is regarded as an important indicator of a candidate’s likely success and it usually is the first among the nomination contests. 

You may be wondering why the Iowa caucuses are important and why they are in Iowa in the first place. Iowa is tiny, atypical to the rest of the United States, and provides about only 1% of the nation’s delegates. However, this doesn’t stop the state from being the first indicator of whether a presidential candidate’s support is holding up. The timing of the Iowa caucus provides candidates time to adjust their messages, which gives the state a large amount of power in elections. The Iowa caucuses give the media a tangible measure of candidates’ relative strength.

The Iowa caucuses’ importance can be seen in past electoral races. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, for example, the Iowa caucuses in 2000 played an important role in the ascendance of the Democratic nominee, Al Gore. It did the same thing for the election’s ultimate winner, George W. Bush. In 2008, former President Barack Obama took lead in the Iowa caucuses. This forged a path for his nomination and victory over his rivals. 

The Iowa caucuses are run differently from other primary elections. In primary elections, in other states, registered voters go to polling places to cast ballots. In Iowa, people gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and vote on the candidates.

The caucuses were run differently this year, a decision that may have backfired. Instead of local meetings, it was decided that an app would be used to make the experience “easier.” The apps showed irregularities and votes began to have to be counted manually. This led to a significant delay in determining the results. 

According to CNN, the eventual results of the Iowa caucuses showed Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders as front runners in the Presidential race, both carrying about 21% of the votes. Elizabeth Warren was not far behind in the race with about 18% of the votes. So, as the Presidential race continues, these three candidates should be paid close attention!