Dance contest, The Riverview, Minneapolis (1985)
Dancing to the band at King Solomon’s Mines, Minneapolis (1967) via Minnesota Historical Society
It’s stressful enough for coaches and athletes competing at a state tournament, but how about trying to save someone’s life just before you are supposed to compete?
It happened last week at the State Dance competition at the Target Center in Minneapolis when a 1-year-old boy stopped breathing.
The Fridley dance team considers themselves one big family. So just before they performed last Friday night, Coach Angela Burkhardt-Bixby put her 1-year-old son Colton in the hands of freshman dancer Lizzy Streitz so she could go to the bathroom.
“He’s one of those kids who falls asleep in whoever is holding him in their arms,” said Streitz.
This time Colton didn’t fall asleep. Instead, he stopped breathing and began turning blue. Not knowing what was wrong, Streitz began yelling for help.
“We heard screaming in the hallway- ‘He’s not breathing! He’s not breathing! Somebody please help,’” said Jen Stumm, coach of the Zumbrota-Mazeppa dance team. Stumm’s team was getting ready to go on the floor when she saw Streitz running towards her.
“Things are moving so fast at that point you don’t have the chance to stop and think about what’s really going on. You just do,” said Stumm.
The two teams started working together to save Colton’s life. Streitz called 911 and Jen, along with her assistant coaches, began using her CPR training.
After minutes of frantically giving Colton chest compressions, he began to breathe and then cry.
“That was the best sound we could have heard,” Stumm said.
He was rushed to Children’s Hospital, where doctors determined he had a febrile seizure due to a fever, but said he will be okay.
“I’m just happy he’s better and is his usual playful self,” said Streitz.
Colton’s mom said the Target Center staff also played a big role in helping their son, as they made sure they got to the ambulance okay.
Doctors said Colton won’t have any long-term health problems.