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When a Good Plan Comes Together

The Dance Fest Team

We could tell you all about the event, but nothing really needs to be said—these pictures should explain enough.

Picture of the entire room, audience and competitors, big heat
The event included over three hundred competitors and over four hundred unique spectators, making it the largest amateur ballroom competition in the Upper Midwest.

Picture of some extremely happy people
Heats of over eighty in newcomer and bronze provided a tremendous experience for many first-time competitors. Joy like this is not easily forgotten, and events like this are a powerful recruitment tool for the community.

People social dancing
Dance Fest was a tremendous opportunity for people from all over the Upper Midwest to meet, socialize, and bond.

American team match
This year there were twenty-six teams—over 150 competitors—in the American team match.

St. Olaf receiving swag
Almost $14,000 in total scholarship, financial aid, and premiums were awarded, exceeding all but the largest amateur competitions in the country. Featured here is the team from St. Olaf College with a Dance Fest bag. This was St. Olaf's first time competing.

A picture of our judges
This event wouldn't have been possible without generous and widespread support from the professional dance community. Pictured here are judges Lisa Vogel, Kate Bratt, Mariusz Olszewski, and Elena Bersten, but we also have to thank our other judge, Marcy McHenry; our MC, Gene Bersten; our DJ, Shane Meuwissen; and our host, Kristina Lee.

A picture of Nels and Theresa
Pictured here are Nels Petersen and Theresa Kimler, many-time national champions. Theresa was one of Dance Fest's generous sponsors. Like many Star of the North events in years past, Dance Fest would not have occurred without her tireless support and advocacy on behalf of the dance community.

A picture of seminars
The seminars were tremendously popular, thanks in large part to the incredible instruction provided by local top professionals Elena Bersten, Kate Bratt, Mariusz Olszewski, and Lisa Vogel. Featured here is Kate Bratt teaching a standing-room-only crowd about smooth technique.

A picture of the venue
DS Event Center, home of Dancers Studio, was our gorgeous, well-lit venue and served as the perfect space for the event.

Daniel and Rosemary O'Connell dancing rhythm
Michael Kasinkas and Taylor Wall dancing rhythm
Co-chairs Michael Kasinkas and Daniel O'Connell dance rhythm with their beautiful partners. Michael and Daniel would like to thank the volunteers and professional community for their extremely generous contribution to the dance community.

To those that contributed, we thank you. To those that attended, we are grateful for your joy. We are proud to serve this community and look forward to putting on even better events in the future.