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PR-B Pulse draw more than 20 dancers, new coach

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The Pine River-Backus Pulse dance team swelled to more than 20 dancers this season under first-year coach and veteran dancer Jacki Soukup.

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“It’s a big team this year,” said Soukup, a 2008 PR-B graduate and former Pulse dancer. “I know a lot of them are seventh-graders. I think a lot of the girls came into high school excited about it. And we did a little bit of recruitment this year.”

Soukup has been a dancer her whole life and is excited for this year’s team, which competes in the Northern Lights Conference. The team will compete in high kick; Soukup isn’t yet sure about a jazz routine.

“We just had to start with the fundamentals of dance before we jump into choreography,” Soukup said of her young team. “They’re a very coachable, high energy, adaptable team.”

She said the team members’ goals are to always do their personal and team best.

“And never settle for doing things halfway, ever,” Soukup said. “If we’re going to compete with the best, we have to train like the best.”

New uniforms have been ordered. “I really wanted to find uniforms that could go with any song and that weren’t themed,” Soukup said.

The half dozen veteran dancers include letterwinners Dani Butcher and Brooke Medenwaldt. Butcher is captain, and Medenwaldt and Kendra Findley are co-captains. Kayla Hudak and Gene Wood are team managers.

Soukup looks forward to her first season as coach.

“I felt like I could give them my experience, and being a part of the team (while in high school), I know what they’re going though and how hard it is. I want to be there for them and elevate them to another level.”

The Pulse are scheduled to open the season at Aitkin on Thursday, Dec. 12. The Section 4A meet is Saturday, Feb. 1, at Hawley.

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