Defending championships will be a major story line Friday and Saturday at the state high school dance team tournament at Target Center.
All six teams that won titles in 2013 are back to compete this year. But new champions are assured in Class 2A, where Chaska won the jazz and high kick titles last year but has since moved to Class 3A.
The jazz competition on Friday includes Maple Grove, last year’s Class 3A champion; Chaska, winners of the Class 2A jazz title for two consecutive years, and Yellow Medicine East, the defending Class 1A champion.
The high kick competition on Saturday includes Eastview of Class 3A, seeking its fourth consecutive team title; Chaska, two-time high kick champions in Class 2A, and Cannon Falls, the Class 1A champion last year competing in Class 2A this year.
The tournament, in its 18th year, includes 44 schools across three classes. Teams compete in a first round, beginning at 11:30 a.m. both days, to determine six finalists in each class. The finalist teams dance again later in the day.
Judges use a 100-point scale to score performances. They award points using criteria such as execution, choreography, difficulty, routine effectiveness and a fifth category tailored for the jazz or high kick performance.