College Dance Team Central

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

UCO Dance And Cheer Teams Demonstrate Routines

Dance team to compete at Chick-fil-A Collegiate Championship this week

by Harry Gatewood III
April 04, 2006
The Vista Online


Twisting and shouting with spirit, the UCO cheer and dance teams demonstrated their routines for nationals March 31 at Hamilton Field House, hosting Division I cheer team Oklahoma State University.

“This was a good showing for us,” UCO cheer coach David Owens said. “Hitting our routines here is only going to help us at nationals. We landed about 85 percent of what we did.”

UCO’s Division II cheer team performed a variety of acrobatic flips and towering formations that it hopes will help it earn a top place in the Chick-fil-A Cheer and Dance Collegiate Championship, which will be held April 6-7 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“Coming into today’s showing, coach drilled us with what he called the HYS plan—hit your stuff,” said sophomore Austin Robles.

Landing stunts and balancing formations are vital aspects at nationals, as the teams are graded on motion placement, timing perfection and overall performance.

“The key today was getting in front of the crowd and overcoming our fears,” said sophomore flyer Lyndsey Stout.

“In today’s showing I just wanted the team to perform and overcome anything they needed to,” said UCO’s first-year head dance coach Melissa Linduff. “This is our first time to perform our national routine in front of a crowd.”

The team has had several injuries this year, one of which took place at the showing. Christen Carlson, junior, pulled a muscle in warm-ups but was still able to participate in the routine.

“Everyone has had serious injuries this year, from fractured ankles to torn cartilage in the back—even a broken wrist and torn ACLs,” Robles said.

A study published in January in the journal “Pediatrics” showed that injuries in cheerleading have more than doubled from 1990 to 2002, while participation has grown by 18 percent in that same time frame. In that same 13-year period, the study estimated 208,800 people ages 5-18 were treated at U.S. hospitals for injuries related to cheerleading. Nearly 40 percent of the injuries were of the leg, ankle and foot.

“One of our stunts was actually illegal due to safety reasons,” said OSU head coach Leroy McCullough. “There was no literature on it, but we couldn’t do it, so we had to add a new routine and the team stepped up and didn’t miss a beat today.”

Last year, OSU landed in at third in the IA Cheer division, earning a final score of 8.96.

In 2005, UCO small coed cheer team drilled a third-place finish at nationals with a final score of 8.43, tying Elmira College of New York. The UCO dance team finished in 10th place at nationals with a subtotal of 8.59, but had a 0.15 deduction that dropped them to a final score of 8.44.

UCO will perform in the preliminary round April 6 in Datyona Beach, Fla., with the cheer team scheduled to present at 9:16 a.m., and the dance team is scheduled to present at 4:10 p.m.

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