College Dance Team Central

Saturday, April 28, 2007

UCSD Dance Team Finishes Second Nationally

By Nicky Buchanan
UCSD Guardian

April 26, 2007 — Though the UCSD dance team is mainly seen on campus performing at events like Sun God or Spirit Night and halftime performances at Triton athletics events, it is also a highly competitive squad that has remained ranked in the nation's top 10 Division II dance teams since it started competing in 1998.

This year the Tritons made UCSD history as second-place trophy winners at the National Dance Alliance Nationals April 4 to April 7 in Daytona Beach, Fla. They finished just 0.04 points behind winner Hawaii Pacific University, which also earned first place last year, and 0.02 points ahead of McLennon Community College.

"Getting second place was the best feeling ever," senior co-captain Alison Chaikittirattana said. "We went in as the underdogs not expecting much, so it was so nice to realize that all of our hard work finally paid off and we were being recognized for it too."

The Triton squad began preparing their NDA routine during the summer, when they decided on their SOS-Castaway theme. The theme involved a mixture of three songs, including a remix of "SOS" by the Police, "SOS" by Rhianna and "Message in a Bottle" by Bonnie Tyler.

"Competing against some of the best dance teams in the nation means that everyone is probably at the same level in technique and skills," Chaikittirattana said. "So in order to stand out from the other talented teams, choosing a creative theme that will catch the judges' attention is crucial."

The NDA requires routines to be two and a half minutes in length with at least 30 seconds in the three styles of jazz, hip hop and pom. Since this was the team's first year without a coach and (it is run solely by three co-captains) the choreography of the piece was entirely a group effort. There were some tensions in the beginning of the season in terms of adjusting to the authority of their peers, but the team's thirst for pulling together a great routine for nationals pushed many of these doubts aside.

"Our group of 16 girls demonstrates what self-sufficient means," sophomore Juhi Dudani said. "We take care of everything from finances to costumes, music, workouts, choreography and organizing our performances. We work well together and respect each other and it shows when we perform."

The first opportunity to showcase their routine, aside from school basketball games, was at the USA Nationals on Feb. 11 and 12 in Las Vegas. The team did not make it to the final round, but the girls used the critiques from the judges to take their piece to the next level for Florida.

"We didn't do too well at USA Nationals, but we did get good feedback," freshman Bonnie Chan said. "We added more difficulty, variety and level changes and it really pushed us to work harder."

The team practiced three days a week for two hours each, and held extra practices in the weeks before competition.

"We drilled certain parts over and over again until [we achieved] perfection," Chan said. "It was hard work."

The NDA judging system is rigorous: a fall is a 0.2 deduction and even a "small bobble" like stepping out of turn from the group is a 0.05 deduction. These deductions can make or break a team, considering that the final scores are just hundredths of a point apart.

"[We went] into NDA Nationals confident that we would do well because our routine showcased our abilities better this year than it has in the past," sophomore Karen Liu said.

The Tritons competed against 25 other Division II teams to earn their second-place spot at nationals. The competition was broken up into multiple parts. First, the dancers sent in a videotape that qualified them for 10th place in the competition which began on April 5 with the preliminary round. It was here that the rigorous points system directly affected the UCSD team through a deduction caused by a fall which dropped it from fifth place to ninth going into the final round.

The Tritons performed seventh out of the 15 teams that advanced to the final round, and from then on watched from the winner's circle, their score of 8.98 reigning supreme over the following eight teams until Hawaii Pacific University overcame them with a score of 9.06.

"In dance, you only have less than three minutes to prove yourself," senior co-captain Courtney Delaney said. "We have to be perfect and on right away, otherwise you're in trouble. You only get one try. After McLennon's score was announced and we were higher, it was shocking and we started jumping up and screaming. It was our first second ever, but it felt like first."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cougarettes Claim Seventh National Title

by Brooke Eddington, BYU Communications

Brigham Young University's Cougarettes claimed their seventh National College Cheer and Dance Team Championship title in Daytona Beach, Fla., April 6-7, with a routine the judges praised for its creativity and difficulty. The BYU team tied with the University of Louisville and will share the title.

The competition is scored similarly to ice skating and gymnastics, and teams are given scores for competence in jazz, pom, and hip-hop, technique, staging, choreography and performance impression, as well as collegiate image and how well they represent their respective universities, according to adviser Jodi Maxfield.

BYU's cheerleading squad also made the finals of this year's competition and was awarded 10th place, its highest finish ever.

The competition will air Saturday, April 21, on the Fox Sports Network (FSN) at 1 p.m. MDT.

As defending champions, the Cougarettes represented the university well by providing their competitors with Easter packages and unrivaled enthusiasm during the announcement of the competition results.

"Last year there was a lot of tension," said Maxfield. "The team found opportunities to connect more with their competitors than in past years."

The Cougarettes captured the National College Dance Team title in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005 and again in 2006. They are credited with raising the level of competitive collegiate dance teams to a new and respected level. Dance Spirit magazine has listed them as one of the top 25 dance teams in the nation, and the team has been featured on a CBS television broadcast.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Hornet Girlz Dance Team Holds Open Tryouts

The Sacramento State Hornet Girlz Dance Team held open tryouts on Saturday, April 14 at the Hornet Gym. The Hornet Girlz have become one of the most exciting dance squads on the West Coast, bringing home a national Hip Hop title at the USA Championships in 2005.

Dance Director Jolie Roberts and the Hornet Girlz were highlighted in a College Dance Team Central exclusive feature last summer. To read the article Click Here

For an awesome photo gallery of Saturday's tryouts featuring pictures by Matthew Beltran vist The State Hornet

The Hornet Girlz tryouts were also previewed by Matthew Beltran in The State Hornet on Friday. See below for the full article.

Looking For Talent
The Hornet Girlz Dance Team holding open tryouts Saturday

By Matthew Beltran
The State Hornet

The Sacramento State Hornet Girlz Dance Team will be holding open tryouts Saturday, April 14.

Applicants will be learning short routines and compete to become a Hornet Girl for the upcoming fall semester.

Held once a year at the Hornet Gym in Yosemite Hall, the team is looking for well-rounded dancers, who can fit a team dynamic, Dance Director and coach Jolie Roberts said.

"We are looking for girls who have a positive attitude and willing to the go the extra mile," Roberts said.

After the first round of cuts, applicants will learn more routines and finalist will be asked to come back the next day for interviews.

Roberts said the team would be looking for new dancers who can "gel" together as a team. Applicants come in with different backgrounds in dancing, but Roberts said she looking to add new members who can work together.

The dance team is a spirit squad on campus and performers during the football games, men's basketball game and various other events on campus.

"We have a great privilege to go out (on the field) at halftime," Roberts said," It's quite an honor."

Dancers selected in the tryouts will join the team and practice through out the summer, and a final evaluation will be done at the start of the fall semester.

Former Hornet Girlz have gone on to perform for professional squads, such as the Sacramento Kings Dance Team and the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush.

Roberts is entering her fifth year as the team's director and coach after spending the last 20 years as a studio dancer and teacher.

The Hornetz Girlz have competed nationally and won the USA College National Hip Hop Champions of 2005.

In February the team traveled to Las Vegas and compete in the USA College National Competition and placed eighth in the Open Dance Category.

VSU Dance Team Returns Home After Nationals

By Chris Walsh
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University has had a dance team for a couple of years, but the first time the VSU dancers competed on the national level was last week in Daytona, Fla. In an open class of 16 teams throughout the nation, Valdosta State made it to the finals and finished in ninth place.

“We had a lot of dedicated team members that had never competed before,” said coach Kelly Holland. “It was a learning experience.”

“You can practice a lot, but there is no way to prepare for the stress of being judged in a competition.”

In the Open Division that VSU competed in, size didn’t matter as teams from Division I and Division II faced each other.

Schools as far away as Hawaii to as close as Georgia Southern and the University of Georgia took the stage on the beach.

“It’s unlike other sports with whoever scores the most points wins and it’s very black and white. With dance, scoring is very subjective or opinionated — that’s probably the hardest part of it,” said Holland.

On Thursday, VSU competed against the other 16 teams and danced its way into the finals as the only Division II school. Nine teams would get the chance to return on Friday for a shot at the National Title.

“The best moment was after prelim’s, getting with all my teammates and listening to them announce our score,” said Dance Team member Naia Tilghman.

The dancers weren’t the only ones pleasantly surprised as the coaches and staff from VSU were in attendance, cheering right along with them.

“When you make it to finals, it’s kind of like, ‘Wow, this is more than we expected,” said Holland.

“It gave people the chance to know more about Valdosta State. We are very excited about going back next year and continuing to progress.”

The National Title eventually went to WMU with a score of 9.08, but a handful of local teams finished well. Florida State finished in third with a 8.96 and UGA finished in fifth with a 8.81.

As the Cinderella team, VSU finished in ninth place with a score of 8.44, but just making it to the finals in their first appearance was enough to call for celebration.

“I’m very proud that our team got it together and were able to go, and that we made it to the finals as rookies not knowing totally what we were getting into,” said Tilghman.

“This group of girls was great, and I couldn’t have asked for a better going away from VSU because I’ve never competed at such a high level.”

Now Valdosta State will continue dancing at the basketball games and getting ready to defend its finals appearance in 2008.

Georgettes Continue Long UGA Dance Tradition

by Katie Raines
Athens Exchange

The University of Georgia established the first dance team in the Southeastern Conference in 1959. The Georgette dance line has performed alongside the Redcoat Band for nearly 50 years. Members of the Georgettes performed at the inaugural parade of President Jimmy Carter in 1976, the college football national championship game in 1980 and in five major Chinese cities on a performance tour in 2006.

The Georgettes dance in front of the 92,746 Bulldog fans in Sanford Stadium at the pre-game and half-time shows of every home football game. They also perform at three out of five away games each year, as well as at bowl games.

The creation of the Georgettes began a tradition of dance in the SEC in both football and basketball. The Go Girls dance team, now called the Dance Dawgs, was created in 1966 when members of the Georgettes began dancing at UGA basketball games as well as football games.

Since the founding of the Go Girls, every team in the SEC has created a basketball dance team, and most have started football dance teams.

Wearing red and black leotards and tall white boots embroidered with the "Georgia 'G', the Georgettes have a look that has become a tradition in the Bulldog Nation. Fans recognize the dancers on the field as a common aspect of the half-time show, but can not identify the girls as the Georgettes.

Although the Georgette line is the oldest dance line in the SEC, it is one of the least known by residents of its state.

The Louisiana State University Golden Girls have become a well known and beloved aspect of LSU football. The girls receive scholarship money and funding for uniforms and props. They are also highly recognized throughout Louisiana.

"When you ask a little girl in Georgia what she wants to be when she gets older, she says she wants to be a Georgia cheerleader or maybe a majorette," said Jessica Cook, 20, a third-year member of the Georgettes.

"If you ask a little girl in Louisiana what she wants to be, she says a Golden Girl. Little girls in Georgia never say they want to be Georgettes because they don't know who we are," Cook said.

Despite feeling unrecognized by the university and the community, freshman Georgette member Traci Raines, 19, says she loves performing in Sanford Stadium.

She hopes that in the future the university, students and Athens community will acknowledge the Georgettes' long-standing tradition and its impact on dance programs throughout the SEC.

Purdue Dance team Finishes Season Strong

The Exponent Online

The Purdue dance team finished in 11th place at its national competition in Florida over the weekend.

The team won the Most Innovative Choreography Award in the 24-team competition that took place in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Tryouts for next year's squad will occur from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 22 in the IAF gymnasium. For more information, visit The Purdue Dance Team

Towson Dancers Bring Home Ninth Title

Team wins first place at nationals for 'Dreamgirls' inspired routine
By Brian Stelter
The Towerlight

Tom Cascella, coach of the Towson University Dance Team, knows his attitude is hard to believe.

"It sounds kind of crazy," Cascella said, "but we don't really worry about winning."

His team has been competing in the National Collegiate Championship for 11 straight years.

"In 1997, we went down there to win. And we didn't even make finals. And after that we said we're not going to do what everyone else does. Let's just go to have fun. And that's when we started to win."

They never stopped winning. In 1998, they came in third, and in 1999 they came in first. On Friday, the Dance Team won the national championship for the ninth year in a row.

They competed at the Chick-fil-A National Collegiate Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida. For the second year in a row (and the fourth time since 2002), the team won the grand championship as well, receiving the best score out of every team in every division at the competition.

Marissa Montanez, a senior criminal justice major, said her final time performing at nationals was both exciting and sad.

"It's been a part of my life for such a long time so it's hard to see it end. But it's also kind of refreshing because dance team is a lot of work," Montanez said.

This year's routine was created last year. But in Feb. 2006, "we decided that we didn't like the orchestration of the music, so we threw the routine out and started a new one," Cascella said.

When the movie "Dreamgirls" came out, the team decided that the scrapped routine would work well with the soundtrack from the movie.

"We were crossing our fingers, hoping that no other team would do a 'Dreamgirls' routine," Cascella said.

The team downloaded the soundtrack as soon as it became available on iTunes, and put the music and moves together before Christmas break.

Three songs were chosen: "Move (You're Stepping On My Heart)," "Jimmy's Rap," and "Fake Your Way To The Top."

Dance routines consist of three parts: jazz, hip-hop and pom.

"We usually start with pom because it's our strongest and we like to start with our strongest," Montanez said. "This year we tried to do something different so we started with our jazz section. It was a great opening for the routine."

Hip-hop is usually the team's foremost challenge. The team watched video tapes of James Brown to prepare for the routine.

Cascella said that he thinks the team's unique orchestration is a plus, noting that one of the judges wrote "love the old-school hip-hop" on their evaluation.

"You get here, and you hear 'SexyBack' every two songs," Cascella said. "Folks didn't even know what songs we were doing. It's kind of different so that's what we try to do."

The team spends the weeks before nationals perfecting the routine and cutting it down to a trim two minutes and 15 seconds.

The team arrived in Florida on Wednesday and flew home on Saturday night.

"We don't lay on the beach," Dana Richmond, a sophomore mass communication major, said. "We practice a lot during the day."

The Dance Team performed at preliminaries on Thursday and was one of 12 teams to advance to finals on Friday.

Finals were held at the Daytona Beach Bandshell, in front of hundreds of spectators. Elise Maher, a junior exercise science major, has competed for three years, and "it's still a big rush to get on the stage," Maher said.

Win or lose, Montanez said the team is about more than winning.

"It's about the relationship we have with each other and the time that we spend together, working hard together, being a part of something. It's not all about winning the national title," she said.

In fact, TU's Dance Team may not be back at nationals this time next spring. The team is trying to put together a trip to Europe. The tentative plan has the team traveling to England, France and Germany at the end of March and beginning of April 2008.

In a few weeks, the team will decide whether to skip nationals and commit to the European tour.

"We're all struggling with that decision," Cascella said, describing it as a "let's move on" versus "maybe we should come back to nationals" scenario.

Cascella is also talking to Armed Forces Entertainment about a possible tour.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Towson University Wins Dance Championship

The Towson University Dance Team won the 2007 National Dance Alliance Collegiate National Championship, Division I title, and the National Grand Champion title on Friday.

The competition was in Daytona Beach, Fla. at Florida’s Peabody Auditorium and at the Daytona Beach Bandshell.

Tom Casella, the dance team coach said, “We’re extremely excited and proud to represent Towson University once again at the National Championships. The team spirit and cooperation of this group of young women makes them champions no matter what.”

The hyper-paced bump and grind precision dances are a combination of hip-hop, jazz, funk and pom routines. The Towson University Dance Team was the top seed going into the competition, winning the Division I competition beating Harvard, Xavier, George Washington and Wichita State. Teams from Japan, Canada and 78 colleges from the United States participated in the championships. Teams are invited to attend the championships based on participation at cheerleading and dance camps, as well as video qualifications from colleges and universities across the United States and select countries.

The Towson University Dance Team performs throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, Towson University Athletic Department competitions and numerous community events. The team consists of 27 members and is coached by Towson University Professor of Theatre Arts Tom Cascella.

The National Cheerleading Association and the National Dance Alliance Collegiate National Championship is the world’s largest collegiate cheerleading and dance competition and attracts more than 6,000 cheerleaders, dancers, mascots and spectators annually. NCA/NDA, the largest privately held cheerleading and dance organization in the world, hold events for more 180,000 cheerleaders and dancers around the world.

WMU Broncos Break Out Their Victory Dance

Western Michigan University's dance team wasn't sure how it would stack up against the rest of the nation.

Now it knows the answer: Pretty darn well.

The Broncos won the National Dance Alliance Open Division championship Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla.

WMU's score of 9.08 beat second-place Georgia Southern (9.06). Florida State (8.96), Southern Methodist (8.96) and Georgia (8.81) rounded out the top five.

The Broncos finished Thursday's preliminaries in third place out of 16 teams, and as one of the nine teams to move on.

``We changed the stuff they didn't like about the dance ... got up really early (Friday) morning and performed pretty well. It turns out we won,'' said senior and team co-captain Julie Stevens. ``The first day we came in third, which we figured was a good spot to be in. We didn't want to be in first and have everyone looking out for us.

``The whole time, before we got to the stage, our focus was on not worrying about other teams, just worrying about ourselves and beating our preliminary score.''

The Open Division has the fewest constraints on what a team is allowed to do; however, the competition is not considered as great as Division I-A. Next year, Stevens said, if WMU competes again, it'll do so in the highest division.

``Being our first year, we didn't want to come in with no one knowing our name and get freaked out (by all the big names). ... When one of the judges gave our score sheet back to us, she said `You guys should be competing in Division I-A.' It was a big compliment.''

Friday, April 06, 2007

Georgia Red Hotz Plan To Spice Up Competition

The Red & Black

The Red Hotz, the University's competitive dance team, is in Daytona Beach today competing in the National Dance Association College Nationals.

The team consists of nine students, all of whom have high expectations for the exciting competition.

"We feel we have a really good chance," said captain Ashley Britt, a senior from Fayetteville.

"On Saturday (March 24) we had a competition and our routine looked good."

Last year at Nationals, the Red Hotz finished second and are hoping the team's work ethic pays off this year with a title.

"We are a very committed group of dancers and cannot wait to represent UGA at Nationals," said Orian Edelman, a junior from Roswell.

The Red Hotz team started six years ago. Many people confuse the team with the Dance Dogs, who perform at basketball games.

"We are more of a competitive team, representing UGA on a national level," said Britt. "It is the only team that travels to compete against other nationally ranked teams as well."

The group performs at many University events such as charity functions and philanthropic events for Greek organizations. These events include HERO, Tailgate for the Team and Greek Grind.

Although they only are considered a club team by the University, the Red Hotz are committed to a tough standard of excellence.

"There are a lot of requirements they have to do to be selected on to the team," Britt said.

"We teach a routine they have to do. Then they also have to make up their own routine and have some required skills."

The team practices two to three times a week for two hours each time. The Red Hotz recently competed in the Showstopper Competition in Atlanta, where they received platinum, the highest award in the show.

The lone seniors on the team, Britt and co-captain Valerie Barth, have been on the team since they were freshmen.

Without the team, college would have been a lot different for Britt.

"It's been great. I have met my best friends and my roommate right now. There are nine of us on the team, and we have all become really close and have so much fun together."

NC State Dance And Cheer Teams Head South For National Competition

After three finishes in the top 3 last year, the teams head back to Daytona Beach hoping for repeat performances of recent success

By Ryan Tice
The Technician

Reynolds Coliseum was abuzz with N.C. State fans Sunday night. The Wolfpack faithful were there to support the teams that are normally leading the cheers for the basketball and football squads.

Sunday night marked an annual event for the dance and cheerleading teams, as they held their dress rehearsal in preparation for the National Cheer and Dance competition this Thursday and Friday.

The mascots, who have their own competition at nationals, participated Sunday, and the cheerleading and dance teams welcomed the all-girls club cheer team for the first time.

"It brought in more fans, the turnout was great," senior coed cheerleader Jessica Brogden said of having the crowd at the dress rehearsal. "Having a crowd helps us out; it gives us a similar atmosphere to nationals. Normally we are performing at practice only in front of our coaches."

Last year coach Harold Trammel's coed cheer squad brought home national runner-up honors from Daytona Beach in the coed division. In addition, Mr. Wuf brought home a national title in the mascot competition. This year, Trammel expects more of the same to give the Pack its fifth national cheerleading title.

"The teams that have done well for [the University] are the ones that take the floor as a team," Trammel said. "Our team strength this year is performing as a team, instead of just going out there as a bunch of talented individuals."

The cheerleading team is not only going out to support itself and the University, though. While performing on the mat, each will have women's head basketball coach Kay Yow on their hearts and a pink shoelace on their left shoe in support of her latest battle with cancer.

After double checking the rule book, the team decided the shoelace was going to become part of its uniform on perhaps its biggest stage.

"We needed to show our support for her because she's been so great for us and the school," junior Mike Hudak said. "We want to show how thankful we are to her. She's a big deal, and we will be wearing [the shoelaces] and supporting Coach Yow proudly in Daytona."

This year, the cheer team is younger, according to Brogden, but also better.

"There [are] not many older kids; there is less experience," she said. "Normally, that would be a weakness, but it's really not because we have so much talent."

The dance team that took third in the national competition last year is also improved, according to coach Erika Holmes. Holmes expects nothing less than a repeat of last year's finish from her team.

"Our strength as a team this year is our technical skill, and that is what is needed to win," Holmes said. "We have definitely improved since last year. We are able to have more of our team doing the same skills instead of breaking things off. Every girl on the floor can do everything I need them to."

While the whole dance team gets to travel down to Daytona, only 14 team members are taking part in the competition. In contrast, most teams will compete up to 18 dancers, according to Holmes, but she doesn't see that as a problem.

"I prefer to have quality over quantity, " she said. "We are only as strong as our weakest link."

This is the only competition for all three teams and the mascot, so there is added pressure, both coaches agreed.

"As soon as we push play, that's it. There's no timeouts. There's no subbing people in, no seeing who you're matched up against," Trammel said. "This is our one chance to cheer for ourselves."

Holmes agreed and said hosting Sunday's dress rehearsal was a way to see who can perform under the pressure. "In front of a crowd is when I can tell if someone needs help in a section. I can see their skills under pressure," she said.

Brogden said fans can expect a strong showing from all teams in Daytona.

"We can absolutely finish better than last year. Last year we took second, and we had a drop. This year, we aren't going to let anything keep us down," Brogden said. "We are going to go out there and put it all on the mat."

UCA Dance Team To Host Tryouts

CONWAY, Ark- The University of Central Arkansas Honeybear Dance Team will host tryouts next week, beginning on Tuesday April 10. The dates of the tryouts are as follows:

Tuesday, April 10th: 12:45 p.m. - Informational meeting in lobby of Farris Center.
Friday, April 13th: 5 p.m.-8 p.m. - Learn the tryout routine.
Saturday, April 14th: 9 a.m. - Tryouts Begin

All tryout activities will take place in UCA's Farris Center. Tryouts are open to the public.

For more information contact coach Susan O'Keefe at 908-2541 or e-mail her at

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mount Union College Dance Team To Hold Charity Dance Invitational

Dancing to Save Lives is the name of the charity dance invitational that the Mount Union College Dance Team will hold on Sunday, April 1 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the Mount Union college gymnasium.

Organized by senior dance team member Jessica Nola, a biology major from Industry, PA, the goal of the event is to collect donations for Relay for Life.

Four other schools will be participating in the event including Heidelberg College, Hiram College, Marietta College and Kennedy Catholic High School from Hermitage, PA.

The event is free and open to the public, although donations for Relay for Life are welcomed and appreciated.

“I hope that Dancing to Save Lives will become an annual event for the younger team members to carry on through the years,” said Nola.

Mount Union’s Dance Team provides entertainment at Purple Raider home basketball games and various other events on campus in an effort to promote spirit throughout the year. This year’s team, made up of 17 members, is captained by senior Kristy Palmeri, a biology major from Northfield Village and junior Lauren Klaas, a psychology major from Berea.

In addition to the charity dance invitational, Mount Union’s Dance Team also performed this year at the Quicken Loans Arena during pre-game of a Cleveland Cavaliers contest and at Mount Union Night at a Youngstown Steelhounds game.

Marist Dance Team Enters First Competition, Hopes For More

By Ashley Mahon
The Circle

Saturday, March 24 marked a new era for the Marist College Dance Team. The team, which had previously only performed at football and basketball games on campus, participated in their first intercollegiate contest at a dance competition in Westfield, Massachusetts.

The competition was hosted by the Universal Dance Association on the Westfield State University campus and had over twenty different schools participating. Junior team member and incoming captain Shannon Kozibroda, thought that the team did well overall.

"Since it was our first competition we didn't have high expectations so we were very happy with how we placed. Just the overall experience of competing was something new for the school and we hope that we can add more competitions into our schedule for next year," she said.

The team, which is comprised of sixteen girls from every grade level, functions as a club sport, like the cheerleading team, which puts them under the direction of both the Athletics Department and SGA.

Though the team does not have a coach, they are led by three captains that are elected after the previous season. The captains for next year were chosen last week and are comprised of juniors Meghann Pursell and Shannon Kozibroda, and sophomore Nicole Peto. All three said they look forward to the upcoming season and hope that it will be as successful as this year.

"The dance team has taken so many steps forward this season and I believe with the same amount of hard work and dedication, we will only continue to move forward next season," said Nicole Peto.

JSU Diamond Girls Are State Champions

The JSU Diamond Girls, a competitive dance line, competed this past Saturday at the Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama. They won two Platinum Awards and have been named the new Alabama State Dance Champions! They performed a “Hip Hop” and a “Jazz” dance routine.

After each performance they "brought the house down" said Director of Bands, Ken Bodiford. “I am amazed at the talent level of these young ladies. I can’t imagine the number of new student recruits that we would have here at JSU if we had a full blown dance department. When people see the JSU Diamond Girls or the Marching Ballerinas, they automatically assume that we offer a dance degree,” says Bodiford.

The founder of the Diamond Girls is Mrs. Joy Andrews of Joy’s Dance Studio in Alabaster, AL. The JSU Diamond Girls are an extension of the Marching Ballerinas and are all current members of the Marching Southerners.

For more on the Diamond Girls including a College Dance Team Central feature from September Click Here