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Mystikix qualify for national competition

Team and coaches include: back row, left to right: Coach Ashley Gerdes, Rylee Wedell, Ashtyn Johnson, Olivia Freehauf, Kayla Brown, Sidney Aanenson, Morgan Sauby, Kamryn James and Coach Sasha Steichen. middle row, left to right: McKenna Robertson, Sammi Heath, Maddy Olstad, Amber Wanner, Madisyn Edmisten and Emily Stillwell; front row, left to right: Alex Rolstad, Morgan Berg, Laikyn Holsing, Kennedy Brown, Maddie Flom and Jayden Halverson.

The West Fargo Middle Schools' 2013-2014 dance season is in full swing as the team prepares for a trip to a national competition in Florida. The West Fargo Mystikix dance team has qualified for the Universal Dance Association, (UDA), National Dance Team Championship with competition set for February in Orlando, Fla.

This is the first time the Mystikix have qualified for the UDA National Championship. "These girls are more than deserving of this opportunity because of how hard they work for being so young," said second year Mystikix coach Sasha Steichen. "They are willing to get up at 7a.m. and give up the beginning hours of their day for this team. With great sacrifices comes great rewards, and that is why they earned the opportunity to compete against some of the best in the country."The team is coached by Steichen and Ashley Gerdes, who were both members of NDSU's back-to-back Division I Pom National Champions.

The Mystikix dance team is made up of 7th and 8th graders from Cheney and Liberty Middle Schools. The dancers qualified for the national competition at a regional UDA camp on the weekend of July 26th in Brainerd, Minn. Steichen received the coach leadership award; the team won 1st place home routine, full-out Award, Superior Award, and 110 Percent Award. Also, Kennedy Brown, Laikyn Holsing and Jayden Halverson were All American winners.

The 2013-2014 Mystikix team has been practicing three to four days a week at Cheney since the beginning of summer break. "The girls understand how big of a goal this competition is. All 21 of us sat down and have came to the same agreement that we will do whatever it takes to make the best out of this opportunity," added Steichen. "Qualifying was the first step to this journey, now we just have to buckle up and enjoy the ride."

The dancers and parents have also been busy with several fundraisers. The team will spend the school year preparing for the Florida competition, several local events and the North Dakota State Competition in January.