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Robb Jeffries / Forum News Service, Published January 26 2013

Packatahnas win state title

GRAND FORKS – The Packatahnas dance team from West Fargo finished the 2013 North Dakota state dance competition like they did last year… and the year before that, and before that, and before that, too.

The perennial powerhouse took its fourth straight state title in the Class A high kick competition Saturday at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, and also won its second Class A pom championship in a row.

“They performed as well as we could have expected,” Packatahnas Coach Jordan Jost said. “The girls put a lot of pressure on themselves, and (the seniors) worked hard to get the younger kids prepared for this competition.”

The West Fargo High School team has placed first in the high kick every year since 2003, save 2009, when the team did not compete in the state competition.

“It’s what we as a coaching unit expect from the girls,” Jost said of the team’s consistency. “We bring in new people to teach them new techniques to bring them to the next level, and have them compete to beat their previous routine.”

West Fargo looks to have the talent to continue performing at a high level, as the younger programs also found success. The junior varsity team took first in pom and high kick, and the West Fargo Junior High School team also topped its division. This is the first year since 2008 the junior varsity team did not sweep their division, as Bismarck High won the JV jazz competition.

Bismarck High varsity also repeated their success from 2012, taking the top spot in the Class A jazz (second consecutive year) and hip hop (third) categories. The Demonettes finished as runner-ups to West Fargo in the high kick and pom results. Coach Jess Albrecht said she could notice improvement from the preliminary rounds to the finals in her squad.

“The girls really pulled together,” Albrecht said. “They kept getting better as the weekend went on. Today, it felt electric in here when they danced.”

Jeffries writes for the Grand Forks Herald