College Dance Team Central

Friday, January 19, 2007

Cincinnati Dance, Cheer Teams Earn Awards

By Danh Vu
The News Record

ORLANDO, Fla. - The University of Memphis ended the University of Cincinnati dance team's three year winning streak as national champions at the 2007 National Cheerleading and Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Fla.

The dance team did come home with two second place finishes in both the Division I-A Dance and Hip Hop Categories. The all-girl cheerleading team finished second as well, the highest ranking in their program history.

Although expectations were high for the dance team to claim their fourth straight national title in the hip hop category, Memphis took first place by a margin of one point.

The second place finish in the dance category made them the only team to medal in two different events in Division I-A.

"It's hard to win three straight national titles and then come out second in the nation, but second in the nation is an unbelievable place to be in, especially in two categories," head coach Lisa Spears said. "We're the only Division I-A team in dance that won two medals and we're very proud of that."

Senior co-captain Julie Wiesman also noted their accomplishments in both categories and the improvements the team has gone through during her five years dancing at UC. "I'm thrilled. We've come so far as a team and that's what's important," Wiesman said. "We didn't come here to win, we came here to dance the best we could possibly dance and we danced as the best team in our history, today in both categories. I'm on top of the world right now."

The all-girl cheerleading team, which consists primarily of freshmen, finished second in Division I, placing them behind Morehead State.

All-girls team head coach Leigh Ann Eagle said she was thrilled. "I'm ecstatic. My goal was top five since I wanted to be realistic because I have 12 out of 20 girls that are freshmen and they have never competed on the collegiate level," she said.

The top eight teams scored during the pre-competition taping session had automatic bids to the final round and did not compete in the preliminaries, putting the UC co-ed team in ninth place heading to the finals.

UC's co-ed team finished 11th, despite losing two members to sickness and injuries within the last two weeks.

Student Government president Jerry Tsai also was in attendance and summarized the weekend of competition. "Our cheerleading and dance teams are pretty darn good. Number two is pretty cool which means only one other team is comparable and sometimes that is decided by as little as one single point," Tsai said. "I think all students and the university as a whole should be very proud that they have such a high caliber dance and cheer squad."