North Minneapolis dance team takes home grand prize at national dance competition

North Minneapolis Dance Team wins national title

North Minneapolis Dance Team wins national title

A north Minneapolis dance team is celebrating after walking away with the grand prize at a national dance competition in Las Vegas.

When the music starts, for the Dance City dancers, the world stops.

“I love dancing,” Yara Blue, a Dance City dancer, said. “You use energy and smile.”

Like her teammates, Blue’s favorite place to be is on the dance floor.

“It’s great, it’s fun. You get to express your emotions and your feelings,” Breanna Cook, Dance City dancer, said.

The dance city team is a competitive group made up of young girls in north Minneapolis that quickly became family.

“We’re just always here for each other. If it’s not dancing, if it’s anything else, we’re here to help each other,” Cook said.

When Cook is in the middle of an eight-count, she said her worries outside the dance studio disappear.

“Sometimes, I’m nervous to be outside because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Cook said. “A lot of violence. My sister got shot in her neck not too long ago.”

The 12-year-old calls the four walls of the studio a safe space where she can let go.

“It’s important to have a space where they can come and not have to think about the outside world and not have to think about what they are going through,” Cierra Burnaugh, Dance City director, said. “We serve North Minneapolis and it’s important to have a safe space for young black girls to learn to grow and be free and I’m just grateful that I’m able to provide it.”

For the last eight years, Coach Burnaugh has been dedicated to getting the girls ready for a big win.

At the end of June, Dance City caught the attention of judges at a national dance competition in Las Vegas.

The team competed with some of the best in the country and walked away with a first-place win.

“I was super excited for these girls because they went out there they left it on the stage,” Burnaugh said.

Cook said the secret to success is simple on the dance floor and in life.

“You got this. Pay attention, give it your all and just do it,” Cook said.

The dance team is fundraising to make it to New York City to train at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Academy in October to expose the girls to more dance opportunities.