College Dance Team Central

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Big Ten Dance Teams Dominate The Competition

A College Dance Team Central Exclusive Feature

There is no Bowl Championship Series poll for collegiate dance teams, but if such a ranking system were in existence you can bet that one conference would dominate the Bowl season year in and year out. When it comes to building competitive dance programs, no group in the country can rival the schools of the Big Ten Conference.

The Minnesota Dance Team has emerged as a real dance team dynasty in Division IA, as the Golden Gopher’s squad has won each of the last four UDA National Championships. But the other 10 dance teams (The conference actually has 11 schools) that hail from Big Ten campuses are not far behind. All you have to do is look at the results from the 2006 UDA Collegiate Nationals: Four Big Ten schools qualified for the finals, finishing in the top-14, including 4th place Wisconsin, 7th place Illinois, and 8th place Michigan in addition to the national champions and another four teams (Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, and Northwestern) advanced to the semi-finals, meaning that eight dance teams from Big Ten schools placed nationally in the Division IA competition, by far more that any other conference group in the country. The conference’s success extended to the Hip Hop competition, as four Big Ten schools placed among the finalists, including Minnesota’s 2nd place finish.

The remaining three dance teams from Big Ten schools have had success competing in the National Dance Alliance (NDA) national championships. The Purdue dance team took 4th place in the Division IA competition at the 2006 Collegiate Nationals, the Penn State Lionettes captured 7th place, and the Ohio State Dance Team finished 8th in the Bandshell on Daytona Beach.

Unfortunately, it seems that the Big Ten has lost one of its most successful teams, as Indiana University has decided to discontinue its pom squad. The IU team, as with all of the squads from Big Ten schools, brought a great deal of class and talent to the competitive dance scene and College Dance Team Central encourages all fans to sign the online petition to reinstate the squad (link on right of the home page).

Below is a small profile of each of the Big Ten dance teams along with a team picture of each squad. The 2007 Collegiate Nationals should be every bit as exciting as they have been in the past, with Minnesota gunning for a fifth straight championship. Can one of the Gopher’s fellow Big Ten programs supplant them as the top dance team in the country this season? We’ll have to wait and see!


Illinois Dance Team
Dancers: 19
National Competition: Universal Dance Association (UDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: 7th in Division IA, 12th in Hip Hop
Auditions: April, 2007
Website


Indiana Dance Team
IU decided to discontinue the Dance Team after the 2005-06 school year
National Competition: Universal Dance Association (UDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: Semi-finals of Division IA, 10th in Hip Hop
Website: N/A


Iowa Dance Team
National Competition: Universal Dance Association (UDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: Semi-finals of Division IA, 13th in Hip Hop
Website: N/A


Michigan Dance Team
Dancers: 16
National Competition: Universal Dance Association (UDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: 8th in Division IA, Semi-finals in Hip Hop
Auditions: April, 2007
Website


Michigan State Dance Team
Dancers: 15
National Competition: Universal Dance Association (UDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: Semi-finals in Division IA
Auditions: April, 2007
Website


Minnesota Dance Team
Dancers: 18
National Competition: Universal Dance Association (UDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: National Champions (4 straight titles), 2nd in Hip Hop
Auditions: April, 2007
Website


Northwestern Ladycats
Dancers: 12
National Competition: Universal Dance Association (UDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: Semi-finals of Division IA
Auditions: April, 2007
Website


Ohio State Dance Team
Dancers: 15
National Competition: National Dance Alliance (NDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: 8th in Division IA
Auditions: See website
Website


Penn State Lionettes
Dancers: 24
National Competition: National Dance Alliance (NDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: 7th in Division IA
Auditions: April, 2007 (with prior clinics)
Website


Purdue Dance Team
Dancers: 15-20
National Competition: National Dance Alliance (NDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: 4th in Division IA
Auditions: See website
Website


Wisconsin Dance Team
Dancers: 20
National Competition: Universal Dance Association (UDA)
2006 Nationals Finish: 4th in Division IA, Semi-finals in Hip Hop
Auditions: April, 2007 (with prior clinics)
Website

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