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Front row (from left): Laikyn Holsing, Amber Wanner, Lindsay Bachand, McKenna Robertson, Kennedy Brown, Lexi Garza. Middle row: Serena Weninger, Maddy Olstad, Maddie Flom, Hailey Larkin, Kinsey Wallace, Erin Daignault, Olivia Freehauf. Back row: Taylor Larson, Miranda Bonnet, Riley Huffman, Julia Dwyer, Danielle Bayman, Isabelle Sinkler, Sidney Aanenson, Sasha Steichen.

Mystikix win State Championship

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First year Cheney Mystikix coach Sasha Steichen stepped off the plane at Hector Airport with the NDSU dance team National Championship trophy in hand. From the airport, she drove straight to Cheney Middle School to join Assistant Coach Taylor Larson in working with the 19 girls anxiously awaiting her arrival.

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Their own championship opportunity looming just days away. In their 19 years, the Mystikix had only earned one first place state trophy. After countless hours of conditioning and training since last spring, they hoped to have another trophy to add to their display case.

“At the beginning of the season we discussed our goals, Steichen said. “They decided they wanted to come home with a state title this year, so I was determined to do my part in making that happen for them. They’ve been such hard workers and have done what I’ve asked of them since June. Now it was my turn to do my duties as a coach and lead them to a victory.”

The NDADD (North Dakota Association of Dance and Drill) State Competition was held in Grand Forks on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25 and 26. The Mystikix were one of seven Junior High teams competing. After preliminaries, four teams advanced to finals. Mystikix had a significant lead after preliminaries and stepped up their game even further for finals, to walk away with the Championship title.

Team members and parents alike were filled with emotion when the announcement was made. This was the ultimate reward for the team and their coaches’ dedication to a season filled with blood, lots of sweat and a few tears.

“Seeing their reactions when the announcer granted them state champions was one of the most surreal moments of my life and I’m a back-to-back national champion myself,” Steichen beamed. “Having 19 girls shaking and crying because they have completed their goals is an astonishing sight, but knowing that I contributed to that happiness means so much to me.”

Mystikix have received first place in every competition they have attended so far this season. Not a bad year for a group of girls that knew what they wanted and a coach that knew how to help them get there.

“I have many years of dance memories, and I can honestly say seeing those final moments before their name was called for first place and the celebration afterwards had to be one of my favorites,” Steichen said. “Those girls mean more to me than anyone realizes, and everything I have done with them up to this point has been for them. My year has been shaped around giving them their dream goal, which happened to be winning state, so all 21 of us were not going to stop until that happened.”

The Mystikix still have a few performances left this year. They will be performing their state title winning Kick routine, Hip Hop and Jazz routines at the Packatahna dance show on Saturday, Feb. 16, at West Fargo High School. They also have a regional Dance Competition, UPA Dance Extreme, in Minneapolis on Feb. 23 and 24, where they will compete in all three of their routines.

The team would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their support this season. Whether in the form of monetary donations to help get them to Minneapolis, purchasing one of the many fundraising items sold, or by cheering them on from the stands. Without the support of their loyal fans, the season would not have been the success that it was.

Tryouts for the 2013-2014 team will be held this spring. Interested dancers should watch for details to come.

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