College Dance Team Central

Friday, January 20, 2006

Cincinnati Div. I-A Hip-Hop Champions Again!

Only UC sport to hold three championships
By: Danh Vu
Issue date: 1/18/06 Section: News

The News Record

ORLANDO, Fla. -The University of Cincinnati dance team won the Division 1A title during the weekend for the hip-hop category, making it their third win in a row at the College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship.

This marks the first time that a UC team has won three national championships in any organization or sport.

Head coach Lisa Spears said she was proud of the team as it competed against tougher opponents in the hip-hop category this year.



"It seemed harder this year because we had to defend a national title," Spears said. "We knew that [the Minnesota team] was only a point behind us going into the finals and we had to step it up that much more and we did."

Team members said they were skeptical about winning after senior Cindy Schenk lost her hat in the middle of their hip-hop routine. However, the judges didn't consider the lost hat a major deduction to their overall score.

"There was definitely nervous tension after the performance. If the hat would've never came off we would've definitely been more excited about our performance," Schenk said.

More teams entered the competition this year, making the chances of the Bearcats winning even more difficult.

Ashlie Wilkson, a fourth-year dance-team member, agreed with her coach.

"We were confident going into the competition, but you never know," she said. "There's always that sleeper team that comes out of nowhere. Minnesota definitely did their job, but we did it better."

The dance team also completed its jazz routine with success, finishing sixth overall in the Division 1A dance category.

"Last year we got fourth and we hoped to get there this year, but we changed our style," Spears said. "We added some of the difficult moves that most teams bring, and we were so thrilled with what we got. We had some things fall out in the finals that we didn't expect would happen, but we're very, very pleased with the results. Top ten in the nation, you can't go wrong with that."

The UC cheerleading squad also competed in the national competition with their all-girls team and their coed team over the weekend. After committing some minimal mistakes during the semi-finals on Saturday afternoon, the all-girls cheerleading team finished Eighth overall.

Only in their second year and comprised of younger competitors, the all-girls squad was excited to finish in the top ten in the nation for the second year in a row.

"Eighth place is awesome considering the division itself was so hard," said team coach Leigh Ann Eagle. "The teams just raised the bar from last year and it was amazing that we even got to compete against that type of competition."

Fourth-year Jen Ogletree said she was also satisfied with their eighth place finish.

"It's awesome because of the teams we went up against," Ogletree said. "Just making it to finals, let alone all the teams we beat in the semis, shows that in two years we've grown so much."

The UC co-ed cheerleading squad failed to reach the finals this year, missing the opportunity to place nationally. Warm-ups and practices before the competition looked good, according to head coach Tabby Fagan.

The team witnessed a series of falls on some of their stunts and pyramids in their semi-finals Saturday evening.

Fagan was disappointed with the result considering the team had put in a lot of hard work for the national competition.

"I thought Saturday was going to be really good. They seemed very positive throughout the day being loose and relaxed," Fagan said. "Then they went out there and I saw a different team. They looked scared, not confident, and it was frustrating to watch, especially for them, because they put so much time in and you want something so bad and it just doesn't work out, it doesn't go your way."

The cheerleading and dance teams wrap up the year by supporting UC athletics before they head into their off-season.

See complete article at The News Record

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