College Dance Team Central

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tommie Dance Team ranks No. 1

Bulletin News

The University of St. Thomas Dance Team has done more than just qualify for the 2008 National College Cheerleading and Dance Team Championships in Orlando, Fla. By winning the top position in a field of 38 teams in its division, the team also has earned an all-expenses paid bid to the competition.

To compete, teams must submit an unedited videotaped routine to earn a place on the national competition roster. Just like the actual live championships, the videotapes are judged and pre-ranked. Top teams in each division (based on the school’s NCAA sanction) receive the paid bids.

“Our main goal each year going into the taping portion of the competition is to send in the best routine possible … one that we feel confident about,” said fourth-year coach Alysia Anderson. “At this point, the hard part is that you never know what other teams are doing.”

The team taped the same routine during five consecutive practices. “The judges are looking for team synchronicity and difficulty in the videotapes, so when we are taping for several days it all comes down to team consistency and execution,” Anderson said.

Winning isn’t new to this team. The UST Dance Team, which already has two new routines learned for nationals, won its first national title in 2006; however, Anderson has only three members from the championship team on this year’s roster. “The talent that has come into St. Thomas over the past few years is remarkable. I think our top ranking history at the national level has definitely put UST on the map and attracted prospective students specifically interested in the dance team program,” she said.

Although the Tommies qualifying routine was a jazz style, they will compete in both the jazz and hip hop categories this January. “We have placed in the top two in both hip hop and jazz the past three years, so it’s neat to say that we are a well-rounded and versatile team that is able to stay competitive in both styles,” Anderson concluded.