College Dance Team Central

Sunday, April 08, 2007

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.''