Ella Leindecker inks commitment to dance at North Dakota

Apr. 25—Ella Leindecker went into the Section 4-3A dance meet thinking it could be her last.

"I definitely cried at our last competition," Leindecker said. "I thought it was the end of my career."

The Blue Angels wrapped up their season at St. Michael-Albertville High School on Feb. 2. A month later, Lendecker made a trip to Grand Forks, N.D., hoping to earn a spot on North Dakota's dance team.

"I toured UND last year and found out they had a dance team," Leindecker said. "I think that made me always interested in North Dakota. In the fall, I just thought, 'Why not? Why not try out?'"

Leindecker tried out for the team before she officially decided to attend North Dakota. She also looked at other in-state schools. But her college choice was suddenly easy when the Fighting Hawks called with an offer she didn't think she'd get.

"I decided to try out because I knew I'd regret it if I didn't," Leindecker said. "I ended up making the team. Once I made the team, I decided I was going to go there. I couldn't believe I made the team. I didn't think I had a shot."

Leindecker put pen to paper on Tuesday afternoon at Bemidji High School. One of Bemidji's seasoned dancers plans to study pre-physical therapy.

"It's far enough away from home, but it's still close enough," Leindecker said. "I toured North Dakota, and I toured other schools. North Dakota was my favorite by far."

North Dakota's dance team is listed under the school's spirit squad, which also includes a cheer squad and hockey cheer group.

Leindecker competed on the Blue Angels' jazz and high kick teams during her high school career.

"I'm really excited to just be able to continue my dance career," Leindecker said. "Everyone (at UND) seems super nice and supportive. Dancing is something I love to do, and I'm just super excited to continue it in college."

At her signing, Leindecker was joined by her parents and coaches. Her dad, Woody, is the head coach of both BHS swim teams. Leindecker was appreciative of the support system that helped her get this opportunity.

"They always pushed me to become my best," Leindecker said. "They believed in me to become my best. They made me never want to give up."