FARGO -- When sports teams complete, there is usually a clear winner, with quantifiable results in number of goals scored, shortest times measured and so forth.
When the sport is competitive dance, however, the judging gets more subjective. Besides the energy and physical ability, there are matters of artistry and grace to be considered.
Dance companies in Minot excel in these aspects, as evidenced by the winners of the Triple S Dance Competitions held earlier this month in Fargo.
Submitted Photo - - Studio X - A New Generation of Dance dancers took the top spots in senior large groups and senior small groups, and honors in choreography.
"It covers a wide region," said Dani Lindee, owner of The Dance Company, defending Grand Champions of the Triple S. "And there's a wide range of styles in several age groups."
"We won Grand Champion two years in a row," she said. "Although we didn't win it this year, we're happy that it came home to Minot."
Studio X -- A New Generation of Dance took the award this year with their New Generation I dancing "Hold It Against Me," with choreography by studio owner Joshua Wise.
"This is our first time to Triple S," he said. "We usually concentrate on Spotlight in July. But this year the timing worked out so we could try out numerous competitions before going to state, and get some routines in front of judges."
The Dance Company had groups in the top five in every category, and four of the top five in the junior division.
Studio X took the top three spots in senior large groups and senior small groups, as well as honors in choreography.
"I think that's what makes me proudest," Wise said: "Winning Best Choreography for 'Rolling in the Deep,' which is the first time I've ever worked with another choreographer on one routine. Amber (Sherman) has such a different style to mine."
Sherman is a relative newcomer to both Studio X and Minot, having just moved here from Arizona, and her husband works in the oil fields.
"She came in a year ago, interested in teaching, but there wasn't a place for her," Wise said. "She had a great resume, and we managed to make room for her this year. In working on this song, we sort of tag-teamed it, each taking a section, then putting them together with the girls.
"It may have been more stressful for the dancers than the instructors," he added, laughing. "But it was unique and fun."
The competition was held March 5, and a dozen North Dakota dance studios participated.
"This means there were around 200 dance routines," Wise said. "And the Grand Champion trophy for the highest scoring routine of the entire competition is a travelling trophy, so it has the names of the winners engraved on it. It's kind of neat that it only has Minot names on it."
One of the prizes from the Triple S Competition is the opportunity it affords dancers to advance to finals in Wisconsin Dells in June.
"A couple of our individuals are going to Nationals there," Lindee said. "It's a great family venue, too. We had a bunch of students selected for scholarships and performances at Nationals."