College Dance Team Central

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Cougarettes Win Championship

By Jessie Elder
Deseret Morning News

PROVO — The Brigham Young University's Cougarettes outshone other college dance teams to win — for the sixth time — the Chick-Fil-A National Cheer and Dance Team Championships.

"We were happy because we felt like we had really prepared well and had done our best — and that's all we could ask for. And winning on top of that was great," said Kim Crane, a member of the university's precision dance team.

The team traveled to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the national competition April 6-7.

It's the second consecutive first-place finish for the Cougarettes.

BYU has high-kicked back into the top spot since a disappointing fifth-place finish in 2004 — the team's worst finish since winning its first national championships in 1997. The precision dance team also won in '98, '99 and 2001.

Jodi Maxfield, artistic director of the Cougarettes, said she thinks the team's 18 dancers have done well because of their hard work and dedication.

Maxfield also attributes their win to the fact that they are fun to watch.

The Cougarettes practice three hours a day on weekdays. To make sure the team stayed to top of its routines for nationals it added four-hour practices on Saturday.

Aside from bragging rights, the Cougarettes took home a trophy and a banner, national championship letter jackets and a $500 gift certificate.

The Cougarettes have not only made their school proud, Maxfield said, but they have also made a name for themselves. Maxfield said all other teams at nationals know BYU's team is strong.

"It makes us feel really good to know that we are representing the university and also representing (the LDS Church) by nature of who we are and how we conduct ourselves," Maxfield said.

Crane said when the team travels to Florida for the competition, there are many schools there but all of them respect BYU. It's nice to know other teams are happy when the Cougarettes win, Crane said.


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