Frazee Fly Girls ends state jazz meet  in tie for third place

By Chad Koenen


There are very few things in life—well except for the sun rising in the East and setting in the West, and Mother Nature giving people across Minnesota a false sense of an early spring each March.

Locally, one of the best bets for a sure thing is the Frazee Fly Girls making a trek to Minneapolis for the state dance tournament. This year, even with all of the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, the Frazee dance team made its annual trip to the Twin Cities for the state dance tournament. Making it to state was one of the goals of the team from the onset, and one they met in a dominating fashion.

After taking first place in every meet this season, the Frazee jazz team was one of 12 teams to advance to the state jazz competition on Friday. The Fly Girls finished in a tie for third place and ended their season with a fifth place finish at state due to a variety of tiebreakers. 

First year head coach Katrina Courneya said there was only a 1 point difference between third and fifth place so the state tournament went right down to the wire. She said the coaches and family members are proud of the effort the team put in throughout the season and are looking forward to another successful year next year.

Entering the season with a number of questions, Courneya said the team worked hard to overcome a number of obstacles that included the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think we exceeded our expectations,” she said. “We started the season with so many unanswered questions, not even sure if our season was even going to happen. I’m so proud of our teams.”

After taking first place in every meet heading into the state dance meet, Courneya said the team looked for ways to fine tune its dance throughout the season. 

“Every week, even after a first place finish the team wanted to make our routine better. They  would work even harder for the next weeks competition,” said Courneya.  

Of course one of the biggest highlights of the year was placing first at the Section 4A meet. While the awards ceremony looked nothing like what it has in the past, with teams competing and then leaving the school as soon as their dance was over, the thrill of bringing home a trophy didn’t change this year. 

In fact, the Fly Girls were one of the first teams to compete on Feb. 20 and were already back in Frazee when they received word they placed first in the section.

“They were so excited! It wasn’t a normal year for awards so after sections we met back at  Frazee High School for awards,” said Courneya. “We felt pretty confident going into awards so parents were waiting in the gym to surprise after we found out.”

Throughout the years, the Fly Girls have had a tradition of seeking input from the dancers themselves for choreographing their dances. This year was no different as several members of the dance team lent their expertise for several aspects of their dances. 

“Our song is Rescue and our inspiration was the missing case of Elizabeth Smart and that after 9 months of being kidnapped she was ‘rescued,’” said Courneya. “Choreography was a group effort, everyone had a say in what was in our routine. That’s what is so memorable about this years routine is that the girls put their hearts into it with their choreography.”

Among the highlights of the season were taking first place at the section jazz meeting, winning first place in the conference and taking fifth place at state. Perhaps even more important than the finishes on the dance floor was their love for dance and helping one another off the dance floor. 

“Season highlights were definitely Section Jazz Champions, HOL Conference Champions and taking fifth at state,” said Courneya. “But more importantly just watching these girls do what they love after so much was taken away last March.”

The Shadows of Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd went home with their third consecutive and overall Class A Jazz title. Their performance this year was titled “Go Your Own Way.” The other Class A medalists were: Yellow Medicine East (second); Holy Family Catholic (third); Zumbrota-Mazeppa (fourth); Frazee (fifth); and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (sixth).

On Saturday the high kick competition was held with Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd Shadows earning their third consecutive and overall title with their performance of “Bombshells.” The other Class A medal-winners were: Yellow Medicine East (second); Bagley (third); Cannon Falls (fourth); Holy Family Catholic (fifth); and Lake City (sixth).

“I think we exceeded our expectations. We started the season with so many unanswered questions, not even sure if our season was even going to happen. I’m so proud of our teams.”

Katrina Courneya