Seventeen area dance students are just days away from the biggest performance of their lives.
The young dancers from Northland School of Dance in Champlin are bound for the Olympics in London where they will entertain crowds at Olympic Park and beyond with a six-minute, high-energy, jazz routine.
"There's a little Salsa in it, a little partnering, and some boys' parts that make it really powerful," said Corrie Dunn, Northland's Creative Director and Choreographer.
It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of the dancers, ranging in age from 9-18, but it's not the first Olympic experience for this Champlin dance studio. Northland beat out dance teams from across the nation in 2000 to make its first appearance at the Olympics in Australia. The studio was invited back to the games in Beijing in 2008, and now to London.
"They really like our people and our kids," said Dunn.
After months of practice and preparation, 14 year old Taylor Ford of Dayton is ready for the trip and her first overseas experience.
"It's going to be really exciting, I can't wait to see all the different cultures," said Ford.
Eighteen year old Nick Bluhm is the veteran of the dance ensemble, having performed at the Beijing games in 2008. Bluhm said it's a thrill to perform for the international crowd.
"It's just a lot of fun," said Bluhm. "It's mostly about performing in front of a lot of people that we haven't seen before and putting on a show for everyone."
The group leaves Saturday and returns to Minnesota August 5.
Alexandra Renslo reporting
July 24, 2012