Park Rapids Just for Kix ends season with a win

Despite a winter storm and diminished numbers, the young dancers earned a first place, three thirds and a fourth in their March 11 competition in St. Cloud.

The Mini Kix team with Park Rapids Just for Kix took first place in their final competition of the season, March 11, 2023, in St. Cloud. Team members include, front, from left, Aliah Stevens, Kylie Rohloff, Bella McArthur, Lauren Hirt, Genesis Tovar, Maggie Hirt. Second row: Hayley Perkett, Rosalena Oines, Kaylee Branstrom, Daleiah Breitweser, Violet Nuthak, Braylin Paurus, Naiara Trujillo, Hermina Simkins. Back row: Coach Drew Hilmanowski, Alexis Tienter, Claire Thole, Reagan Hoverson, Grace Morse, Harper Diekmann, Brooklyn Popanda, Aveyah Forbes, Kenna Paurus and coach Kaitlin Popanda.
Contributed / Kaitlin Popanda

The Park Rapids Just for Kix dance program had their final competition of the season March 11 in St. Cloud.

“With the huge snowstorm, many of our older dancers couldn't make it down that day,” said program director Kaitlin Popanda. “We had a lot of our teams with missing kids. Definitely a day to remember, and we were so proud of the kids for going out onto the competition floor confident, with their heads held high, with half their teammates by their side.”

The Mini Kix team (grades 4-5) took first place in their division with the routine “I Love Rock ’n Roll.” Popanda said they “killed it. … This was a great way to start our morning, with a huge victory.”

The Junior Kix team with Park Rapids Just for Kix placed third March 11, 2023, in St. Cloud. Team members include, front, from left, Emma May, Vivian Harju, Jadyn Sherk, Autum Harris, Halo Finley. Back row: Coach Kaitlin Popanda, Olivia Simkins, Haley Koons, Kyla Mercil, Mahala Dodge, Jasmae Goodman, Cheyanna Nelson, Abby Runyan, Ella Pierce, Kassidy Ennen and Madison Jensen.
Contributed / Kaitlin Popanda

Junior Kix (grades 9-12) came away with third place with their routine “Rihanna Mix,” despite missing teammates and “a tough division of incredible teams,” Popanda said. “I am super proud of this group. I had a blast watching them perform. They made me want to get up and dance with them – which is what I always tell them is their goal. Make the audience feel what you’re feeling when you dance. I felt that joy.”

Other Park Rapids teams that placed were Mini Hip Hop (grades 4-6), third place; Middle Lyrical (grades 6-8), third; and Middle Kix (grades 6-8), fourth.


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