HISTORY OF THE STATE DANCE TEAM COMPETITION
In the mid-1970’s, interested dance team advisors in the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area met to organize the first State Dance line Competition which was held at Anoka High School. In the early years of the dance line competition, the winner of the state tournament was in charge of and hosted the next year’s event. This concept created an incredible amount of work and an awesome responsibility for both the school and the dance team. Advisors served as judges, but there were no regulations to guide the number and type of competitions. During the late 1970’s dance teams began to hire judges for the State tournament, but there was no formal training for judges other than their experience as former dance line members. In 1980, the state tournament was moved to St.Olaf College, and the state champion from the prior year was still responsible for the organization and administration of the tournament.
On August 23, 1980, a group of eleven advisors from throughout the state met at Minnetonka High School to discuss dance team issues and to find better ways to organize regular season and the state tournament competition. This meeting led to the formation of the Minnesota Association of Dance lines (MAD), the name chosen for the organization. A nine-member Board of Directors was elected, and the group began planning “State ’81”. During the initial year of competition there were 55 schools. A second Board of Directors was elected at a general membership meeting in October of 1981, and they accepted the responsibility for “State ’82”. The MAD members worked together to develop the Constitution, and in 1982 the Board of Directors filed the necessary papers for incorporation.
The first Judges’ and Coaches’ Clinic was held in the fall of 1983, and the State tournament was moved to St. Cloud State University. In 1984, the State tournament moved to the Minneapolis Auditorium and functioned comfortably there until the move to the St. Paul Civic Center in 1989. In 1995, the University of Minnesota became the state tournament site. This change coincided with a change in the name of the coaches organization, the Minnesota Association of Dance Teams (MADT).
In the fall and winter of 1995, member schools of the Minnesota State High School League began a discussion with MADT and, on March 20, 1996, the League’s Representative Assembly voted to include girls dance team as a League-sponsored athletic activity.
The 2020 tournament at the Target Center in Minneapolis marks the 46th year of dance team competition and the 24th under the auspices of the League.