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Maple Grove's dance team program has long been considered among Minnesota's best, at least since Stacy Marquardt and Jill Leste took over as co-head coaches.

They'd won six Minnesota State High School League state championships in Class 3A jazz and another in Class 3A high kick from 2003 through 2015. It all seemed easy, until a seven-year championship drought introduced the Crimson to the humbling reality of facing high-level competition year in and year out.

Maple Grove was relegated to runner-up finishes in four of six state meets ahead of the MSHSL's latest dance season, when the program's past winning pedigree resurfaced in a stellar, groundbreaking state championship jazz routine.

Five judges unanimously agreed the Crimson's rendition of Johnny Cash's "Hurt" surpassed all other performances, handing Maple Grove its first state championship since 2015, and now the Crimson are the 2023 All-Metro Sports Awards Dance Team of the Year.

"They were really hungry because we had been second place for so many years in a row and it had been always so close, so close, so close," Leste said. "They were ready to take it."

Ending Eastview's three-year streak of jazz state championships required Maple Grove to seek new answers. The addition of junior Ivan Beetoe made a difference.

Beetoe, Maple Grove's only male dancer, exceled as an integral contributor and earned the title of next team captain.

"He is the real deal," Marquardt said of Beetoe. "He's an incredible human, he's authentic, he cares about his teammates, and he's incredibly disciplined — and talented. Talent is the icing on the cake. He was one to lead by example, always motivating his teammates and absolutely adding to the culture of this team."