SARTELL - WJON’s All-Star Student of the Week’s journey to the state tournament started last spring with try-outs. Then summer practice, fall performances, and finally the competitive season. Now Sartell-St. Stephen High School senior Miranda Garman can call herself a state champion, along with the rest the Sartell-St. Stephen High School High Kick Dance Team.

Senior Miranda Garman with the 2015 Class AA High Kick Championship. (Photo: Joshua Akkerman)

Garmen says, "State is like a magical weekend, it’s better than Christmas. It’s a big venue, it’s a lot of people watching you, but it’s a lot of fun. You get to finally show them all of your hard work."

Garman is a captain of the dance team. For the last three years they have been runner-up in high kick. She says it was awesome to finally bring home a state championship.

"I didn’t really know what was going on because the placements from prelims to finals had changed," says Garman, "there was a different team that was initially in third place going into finals, and then a different team was called, so I didn’t know if that team could have maybe snuck up somehow."

We all danced our hearts out, and danced as best as we could.

But it was her dance team that was called as the champions, but this is not the only state honors she and her team received. They were also took fourth place in the Jazz Competition. Garman dances on both the hick kick team, and the jazz team. An undertaking that head coach Kelly McCarney says is a special gift.

"You use a lot of the same skills but it’s very different. The dancers that do both kick and jazz put in twice the amount of time, and practice time into learning these two routines, perfecting them, and polishing them. So it does take a lot of extra hard work to master both, but she’s done it very well and very well for four years," says McCarney.

"It’s kind of hard especially if we have a really hard kick practice, jazz practice is always after. So trying to get the energy to go to another practice is sometimes difficult, but it’s definitely worth it,"
-Miranda Garman 

McCarney says Garman has always been a strong dancer.

"One of her strengths from early on has always been her ability to perform. She can captivate the judges, and the audience, and one thing that’s really improved is just her overall confidence, stamina, and technical ability." -Kelly McCarney

The Startell-St. Stephen High Kick Dance Team
(Photo Courtesy: Kelly McCarney)

Garman’s hard work has paid off. She was honorable mention both her sophomore and junior years in Jazz. This year she was All-Conference in High Kick and Jazz, All-State in Jazz, and was a member of the Wells Fargo All-Tournament team in Jazz.

McCarney says the one thing she will miss the most about Garman is her tough positive attitude.


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