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Veteran Mystikix coach steps down

The West Fargo Mystikix dance team consists of: back row -- Kristi Brager, Cheyenne Corey, Kourtney Kuhn, RyLee Offermann, Amanda Solway, Barb Ness; middle row -- Karlee Wold, Miranda Bonnet, Lexy Brown, Danielle Bayman, Alexa Potter, Riley Huffman, Rachel Allard; front row -- Ariana Van Cleve, Erin Daignault, Ali Summers, Serena Weninger, Brie Pulczinski and Lexi Garza. Submitted photo

Longtime West Fargo coach Kristi Brager went out on a high note.

The veteran coach recently stepped down after an 18-year run with the Mystikix, a dance team she helped spur into fruition.

The Mystkix had another solid year, taking first place at the Fargo North Invitational, the West Fargo Invitational, and the Davies Invitational. The Mystikix also placed first in jazz and first in hip hop at the UDA Competition at the Mall of America, and finished second at the state tournament.

The team is made up of 17, seventh- and eighth-graders from Cheney Middle School. Brager was assisted by Barb Ness and Carly Ness.

A dancer since the age of 11, Brager helped get the Mystikix off the ground. After graduating from West Fargo High School (she danced for the Packatahnas from 1988-91), Brager spent three years attempting to convince the school board to sponsor a junior high dance team.

The team functioned on a tight budget until 1997 when Brager created POM, an organization consisting of parent board members and committee members that helped with organizing fundraising efforts.

Since then, Brager has been able to focus on coaching, the success of which is evident by the Mystikix's numerous achievements. Since then, the dance team has placed either first or second in a majority of their competitions, and in 2011 placed first in the state tournament.

Brager was nominated for coach of the year for the first time in 2007-08, and named coach of the year in 2009-10. She also was nominated for the NDADD Hall of Fame.

This year's Mystikix captain was Kourtney Kuhn, while co-captains were Danielle Bayman and Alexa Potter.  Choreographers included Riley Huffman, Rachel Allard, Erin Daignault, Ariana Van Cleve, Brie Pulczinski and Miranda Bonnet.