College Dance Team Central

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Success For Miami Dance Team

The Times Gazette

Team takes first overall, gets “Most Spirited” award, receives bid to National Dance Championship

OXFORD - The Miami Dance Team continues along a successful path with an impressive start to its 2006-07 season. On August 6, the team returned from the University of Louisville, where they participated in the 2006 National Dance Alliance (NDA) Collegiate Summer Dance Camp, with three awards to boast.

Miami placed first in Division 1A in the Team Dance Competition, received the "Most Spirited" award voted on by peer dance teams, and was awarded a bid to the NDA National Championship held each Spring in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Chelsea Starks, of Hillsboro and a 2005 graduate of Hillsboro High School, is a member of the dance team. Starks is a sophomore majoring in political science and minoring in family studies.

The first-place Division IA finish in the team dance competition is a first-time accomplishment for Miami. The team beat out powerhouse schools including The Ohio State University and Purdue University and established itself as a team to beat in the upcoming season.

Team Captain Miranda McKirnan said, "We came to Louisville with the intention to represent Miami and build upon our recent success as a nationally-competitive team. We finished at the top not because we have talent, but because we have the ability to effectively leverage our talent through corporative team work. That's what this sport is all about."

The competition took place during the four-day summer camp. In addition to learning individual routines, the team learned one "team routine" containing Jazz, Pom, and Hip-hop choreography which they competed with on the final day of camp. Teams were required to show strength in all three dance styles in order to place well in this competition. Each squad is also asked to choreograph a section of the team routine themselves in an effort to highlight the squad's technical strengths and versatility.

The success Miami had in Louisville did not stop with their first-place ranking. The Miami dancers also qualified for the 2007 NDA National Championship to take place in Daytona Beach in early April. This is the team's fourth year of qualifying for the nationally acclaimed championship. Later this year, they will participate in a "taping" submission in an effort to win a paid bid to the National Championship. Miami has previously been awarded paid bids for the 2004 and 2005 championships, placing fifth and seventh respectively in Division 1A.

The Miami women were recognized for qualities extending beyond their dancing ability in being awarded the "Most Spirited" squad at camp. This award is given to the most motivational and inspirational squad as voted on by all teams in attendance and is a true depiction of admiration by fellow competitors.

The members of the Miami Dance Team also enjoyed individual success during their visit to dance camp. McKirnan, a senior, and freshmen Laura Siedlecki were asked to audition to become NDA dance instructors. Camp attendants asked to join the NDA staff receive this honor after demonstrating exceptional dance technique, style, performance, and leadership during the numerous classes taught during camp and work within their team environment. Siedlecki was also honored during camp by being named All American. Those who decide to audition for All American must perform a Jazz routine previously taught at camp and demonstrate strength in turning and leaping.


About the Miami Dance Team: The Miami Dance Team is the official performance and competition team of Miami Athletics. The team performs at all home basketball games, and various campus events. The team is technically based and specializes in styles of jazz, pom, and hip-hop. For more information about the team, including auditions, visit under "Athletic Department." For more information about the NDA Collegiate National Championship, visit


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