Dance: Cannon Falls tries to defend state titleMadi Salisbury knew there was pressure to succeed as the first year head coach of the Cannon Falls dance team.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Madi Salisbury knew there was pressure to succeed as the first year head coach of the Cannon Falls dance team.
She was hired to take over a Bombers team that was defending 2011 Class A high kick state champions and had won eight straight Section 1A high kick titles.
But Salisbury, 24, wanted to push Cannon Falls to be even better and all the hard work came to fruition Saturday as the Bombers finished first at the Section 1A tournament in both the jazz and high kick competitions.
“I’m just extremely excited,” Salisbury said. “The Minnesota State High School dance tournament is such a great experience for the kids.
Cannon Falls’ ninth consecutive Section 1A title also released some anxiety for the team and for Salisbury.
“It’s kind of relieving to be honest,” Salisbury said. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say that.”
The Bombers boast five of the last seven Class A high kick titles but none in jazz. At sections, Cannon Falls’ high kick dominance continued as the Bombers turned in the best score in team history, Salisbury said. Cannon Falls received a few perfect scores and was awarded a perfect 10 in routine effectiveness, which grades an entire routine.
“In my entire coaching career, I’ve seen one 10,” Salisbury said. “That’s a huge highlight to see that. They thought overall that we were basically perfect. That’s a good thing to go running with, a good high that we need.”
At the beginning of the season, the Bombers lowest scores were in routine effectiveness, Salisbury said, so it was even more rewarding to see the progress the team made from the start of the season until now.
“It’s extremely rewarding,” she said. “I was so happy with their performance but I did not expect to come out with that. It’s great.”
While Cannon Falls renewed expectations of another state high kick championship, Salisbury said the team’s jazz performance at sections wasn’t the best but hopes the team peaks at the right time.
“We didn’t have a very solid performance… but still came out on top, so that’s good,” Salisbury said. “I definitely think at state we’ll have a more solid performance than we did at sections. They practice better than what we had on the floor at sections. It was a still phenomenal performance, just wasn’t quite our best.”
In addition to the pressure of coaching such a successful program, Salisbury is pregnant and the baby is due March 25.
Salisbury said the success of this year’s team would not be possible without the help of assistant coach Jamie Krinke.
Krinke started the dance program at Goodhue High School before retiring but Salisbury convinced her to come back and help develop another state entrant. Krinke is the glue that holds the team together, Salisbury said.
“She’s fantastic and so knowledgeable,” she said. “She’s my other half and we wouldn’t be as successful if it wasn’t for her.”
Salisbury danced at Northfield and won a Class 2A state title in high kick in 2004. She said the experience made her want to become a coach and she hopes the Bombers get to have the same feeling.
“It was obviously one of the most rewarding experiences,” Salisbury said of winning state. “It wouldn’t be excitement for myself but excitement for those kids.”
Cannon Falls will attempt to claim its first jazz title Friday, competing at 12:32 p.m at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
The Bombers compete in high kick Saturday.