August 27, 2009 at 8:00 a.m.

Teen clogger-dancer in State Fair talent show line-up

Teen clogger-dancer in State Fair talent show line-up
Teen clogger-dancer in State Fair talent show line-up

Alex Shaleen should be getting tired right about now, but he doesn't have the luxury of slowing down. The 17-year-old Lindstrom resident has had a very busy summer participating in and winning dance competitions, all over the state, and it isn't over yet.

Shaleen is a clogger with River City Cloggers, under the tutelage of instructor and owner Sheryl Keller. He also dances on the competition team at the Keller studio, "Clogging Premier. Shaleen has competed with the team at events nationally and has also been busy showcasing his talents at county fairs throughout Minnesota.

His hard work and amazing talent paid off, as evidenced by a large collection of trophies and ribbons at his parents' home. There's no trophy room yet, but one may be needed if Shaleen continues winning.

Shaleen has competed at seven county fairs this summer. He brought home five 1st place finishes and two 2nd place finishes at county talent shows.

Shaleen is now invited to compete at the Minnesota State Fair in an amateur talent contest as a first place finisher.

He competed in the contest three years ago and was named grand champion in the amateur male solo category.

The Minnesota State Fair-County Fair Talent Contest participants are showcased at performances on the Family Fair Stage in Baldwin Park. Shaleen's performance will be Sunday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.

This year, he competes in the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest as well. Open auditions for the contest were in July, and semifinalists are chosen to compete during the state fair.

Shaleen advanced to the semifinal rounds in both the solo and team category, as two of 125 semifinalists chosen from over 400 acts.

He will be joined by the other 19 or so members of his competition team in a dance choreographed to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." As the lone male in the troupe Shaleen plays the role of Jackson.

"It's been a little tough finding a glove," Shaleen joked.

The Amateur Talent Contest semifinals are held daily Aug. 27-Sept. 5 at The Leine Lodge Bandshell. Shaleen will compete in the individual contest Friday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. and the team contest Monday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.

Shaleen hopes to advance to finals in both contests, culminating with the county fair contest finals Sunday, Sept. 1 and the State Fair Amateur Talent Contest Finals Sept. 6 at 8 p.m., both in the grandstand.

All of the performances should add up to at least five days at the fair for Shaleen and his biggest supporters dad, Jeff and mom, Lisa.

"I said if he keeps winning, he should use some of the prize money to pay our state fair admission," his dad joked.

Alex started dancing seven years ago, and has no plans to stop. Shaleen said he enjoys the competition, but that's not the only reason he keeps dancing.

"I like to dance because it lets you tell a story," he said.

Shaleen was one of the most popular acts of the Chisago Lakes High School variety shows the past two years. Don't be surprised to see his name listed on the program this year, as Shaleen starts his junior year at CLHS.

Although he has two years of high school left, Shaleen already plans to keep dancing as an adult, with a goal to someday move to a performance-centered city like Nashville.


Comments:

Commenting has been disabled for this item.

Events

March

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
25
26
27
28
29
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.

Events

March

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
25
26
27
28
29
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.