College Dance Team Central

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tennessee Claims Third Straight National Title

Story and photos by Donnell Field
Tri Cities

ORLANDO, Fla. - After winning two national titles there is a thought that maybe one would be complacent or that time would catch up with them. Tennessee's dance team left no doubt and put to rest any thought of complacency in the semi-finals on Saturday night and then proceeded to nail its third straight national crown, in the Jazz Division, in resounding fashion on Sunday night at Walt Disney World's Wide World of Sports.

It was a just one of a few highlights that again solidified Tennessee as one of the top spirit programs in the country.

Coming into the competition Tennessee's cheer squad had to fight its way through the semi-finals to reach the championship night. Having 13 first time competitors and only two returnees, just making the finals was not a given thought. But with great passion and tenacity the young squad performed near flawlessly in the semis to gain a spot in the finals on Sunday.

The finals proved a little tougher as the competition also improved. They took the floor mid-way through the finals and despite a few small bobbles nailed down another top 10 finish, placing eighth among 15 finalist including several national programs who came in ranked above them.

Rounding out the group was good ole Smokey coming off a national championship year in 2008, gave a solid performance but not enough to retain the crown. Smokey finished fifth, marking the 10th straight year Tennessee has placed all three of its competition squads in the top 10.

The dance team also brought home a sixth-place finish in the Hip-Hop Division bringing four top 10 finishes for the Tennessee spirit squads.

But the night belonged to the reigning two-time national champions as they swept through the semi-finals and prepared for the real thing on Sunday. With only one senior, Tennessee's team took the floor mid-way through competition and with a lively crowd cheering them on nailed their routine and left others jockeying for second. Two-time national champion Minnesota and this year's runner up Florida State made for some formidable competition, but it was the smoothness and flawless routine and beautiful choreography which sealed the deal, earning Tennessee its' third straight crown.

It was a fitting ending to another great competition as the gap between the top teams in the country continues to close. They say winning a crown is tougher than defending one, you might have to ask our national champions about that but it is a challenge they are looking forward to 2010.

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2009 UDA Results

Top five finalists in the 2009 UDA Collegiate Nationals...For complete results Click Here

Division IA Dance
1. Tennessee
2. Florida State
3. Minnesota
4. Cincinnati
5. Wisconsin-Madison

Division I Dance
1. Long Beach State
2. Idaho State
3. Cal State Fullerton
4. Missouri State
5. North Dakota State

Open Division Dance
1. Orange Coast College
2. St. Thomas
3. Lindenwood
4. Wisconsin-Eau Claire
5. St. Benedict

Division IA Hip Hop
1. Cincinnati
2. Louisiana State
3. Memphis
4. Wisconsin-Madison
5. Florida State

Division I Hip Hop
1. Delaware
2. St. Joseph's
3. Illinois-Chicago
4. George Washington
5. Cal State Fullerton and Missouri State

Open Division Hip Hop
1. Lindenwood
2. St. Thomas
3. Avila
4. St. Cloud State
5. Orange Coast College


Thursday, January 15, 2009

UDA Collegiate Nationals 2009!

The UDA Collegiate Nationals take place in Orlando this weekend and Dave Sanchez from the Dance Team Competitions Yahoo! Group has once again provided College Dance Team Central with predictions and the most thorough preview of this weekend's competitors around. Can Tennessee (pictured) take the top spot for a third straight year in Division IA dance, or will Minnesota be back to claim the title that has eluded them since the Vols ended their dominating reign two years ago? Will Cal State Fullerton stay at the top in Division I? Will St. Thomas repeat in the Open Dance Division? We'll find out this weekend!

Below are Dave's predictions in each division, but for full capsule previews of each competing squad please visit Dance Team Competitions Yahoo! Group and click on the messages section.

For full online coverage of this weekend's events including video, please visit

Division IA Blind Prediction: 1) Tennessee, 2) Minnesota, 3) Cincinnati, 4) Wisconsin-Madison, 5) Florida State, 6) LSU, 7) Rutgers, 8) Louisiana, 9) Michigan, 10) Central Florida, 11) Hawaii, 12) Memphis, 13) Kansas, 14) Kentucky, 15) Oklahoma, 16) Alabama-Birmingham, 17) Alabama, 18) Michigan State, 19) Arizona

Division I Blind Prediction: 1) Cal State Fullerton, 2) Idaho State, 3) Long Beach State, 4) North Dakota State, 5) Delaware, 6) South Alabama, 7) George Washington, 8) St. John's, 9) Northern Iowa, 10) Missouri State, 11) Hofstra, 12) George Mason, 13) SE Louisiana, 14) Northern Arizona, 15) New Hampshire, 16) Illinois-Chicago

Open Division Blind Prediction: 1) Orange Coast College, 2) Lindenwood, 3) St. Thomas, 4) St. Benedict, 5) Avila, 6) Wisconsin Eau-Claire, 7) St. Cloud State, 8) Central Missouri, 9) Grand View, 10) Wagner College, 11) Puerto Rico-Bayamon, 12) Minnesota-Moorhead, 13) William Jewell, 14) West Chester, 15) Bellarmine, 16) Concordia, 17) Christopher Newport 18) NW Missouri State, 19) Nassau Community College, 20) California Lutheran

Division IA Hip Hop Blind Prediction: 1) Cincinnati, 2) Memphis, 3) Tennessee, 4) Louisiana State, 5) Rutgers, 6) Louisiana 7) Michigan State, 8) Central Florida, 9) Hawaii, 10) Alabama, 11) Washington State, 12) Alabama-Birmingham, 13) Kansas, 14) Wisconsin-Madison, 15) Minnesota, 16) Oregon, 17) Florida State, 18) Michigan

Division I Hip Hop Blind Prediction: 1) Illinois-Chicago, 2) Cal State Fullerton, 3) Hofstra, 4) Delaware, 5) Idaho State, 6) Northern Arizona, 7) George Washington, 8) George Mason, 9) North Dakota State, 10) SE Louisiana, 11) South Alabama, 12) St. Johns, 13) St. Josephs, 14) Missouri State, 15) Central Arkansas

Open Division Hip Hop Blind Prediction: 1) Orange Coast College, 2) Lindenwood, 3) St. Thomas, 4) St. Cloud State, 5) Wisconsin Eau-Claire, 6) Avila, 7) College of New Jersey, 8) Puerto Rico Bayamon, 9) Central Missouri, 10) West Chester, 11) William Jewell, 12) Minnesota-Moorhead, 13) Arkansas Pine-Bluff, 14) Long Island-CW Post, 15) Scranton, 16) California Lutheran.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Huskies Dance Team To Host Intensive For Northwest Squads

The Huskies Dance Team from the University of Washington is going to host a dance intensive in March, specifically for college dance teams in the Pacific Northwest that hold club status on their respective campuses.

Amanda Sun, the Co-Captain of the Huskies Dance Team, tells College Dance Team Central that they hope to bring in instructors from around the Northwest, and are planning a four-hour long event that will include master classes in a number of different disciplines.

"The purpose of this gathering is really to let dance teams know about each other,” said Sun. “It will let (club) squads know that they have a network of support inherent in those other dance teams.”

The Huskies Dance Team is registered as a “club” at the University of Washington, and Sun hopes that the intensive will be the first step in creating an annual dance competition for club teams. It will also serve to create awareness for the team on the Washington campus and open lines of communication between squads that hold club status at other colleges and universities.

“It can be difficult when you are not school funded to do everything on your own,” said Sun. “If we can borrow the ideas of other teams on how to get ourselves known, how to view ourselves as a unit within the school, and even share dances to gain ideas for choreography, it would make everyone feel much more at ease knowing that there are other teams in the same position as we are. Because we have no coach or staff adviser, we rely solely on our team members to choreograph, plan events or run meetings for recreational dancing on campus, advertise our team and performances, seek opportunities for any performances we can obtain, and act as liaisons between all the coordinators of the events at which we perform.”

Below are the particulars for the Huskies Dance Team Intensive

What: An exchange of ideas between college dance teams with master classes in Hip Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary

When: Saturday, March 7th, 2009 (tentatively 10 am-2 pm)

Where: University of Washington Intramural Activities Center (IMA), Montlake Blvd, Seattle, WA

Who is Invited: Any college dance team in the Pacific Northwest that can provide their own transportation to the University of Washington campus for the event

Why: To foster creativity, promote dance, and empower dance teams

Contact: Amanda Sun, Co-Captain of the Huskies Dance Team, at

“This is an open invitation to college teams in the Northwest,” added Sun. “This is a big job, so we would love to get help in any way we can and return that help to other teams."

If your squad is interested in attending, please visit the official website of the Huskies Dance Team

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PSU Dance Team Has Short Holiday Break

Members of PSU dance team experience smaller holiday break than most students

The Morning Sun

PITTSBURG —The holidays, for most college students, are a time to go back home, eat a home-cooked meal or two and get laundry done.

That is, of course, on top of seeing family and friends again.

However, for some members of the Pittsburg State dance team, those moments are not nearly as frequent as others.
While most college students were going home immediately after finals, the dance team stayed behind through Sunday’s Pitt State men’s basketball game with Southwestern and have to return quickly as the Gorillas are back home for another game on Dec. 31.

But, to those members that live farther away, it has almost become second nature to not have those long breaks between semesters to visit family.

“This is actually the longest one that I will have,” said junior captain Katie Jones. “Normally, I would be going home a lot later than this.”

Jones, from Kansas City, Kan., has been a member of the dance team for all three years she has been at PSU.
“The first year was hard because you are used to getting a long break but, now everyone in my family is pretty well used to it,” Jones said.

Jones is not the only member that has a distance from home.

Wichita native, and PSU sophomore, Liz Kester said that her holidays are a little tough because of the short time at home.
“It is harder,” Kester said. “My parents have never been to a basketball game to see what I get to do so they don’t know what is going on.”

It is just as hard for their coach, Stephanie Joiner, the wife of PSU assistant men’s basketball coach Derek Joiner.
“Coming in new in November, it was hard for me to ask them to give up their holidays,” Stephanie Joiner said.

However, it is like second-nature for Stephanie Joiner, who was a collegiate cheerleader at Oklahoma State University in addition to being on-hand to support her husband.

“I just don’t know any different because I am here for all the games with Derek,” Stephanie Joiner said.
Because of their shorter break, it means less time doing the traditional holiday things with friends and family.

“The actual day for me will be fine but the shopping before hand I don’t get to do because their really isn’t any time,” Kester said.

There is also the elimination of being able to do anything special with family.

“We wanted to take a family trip over Christmas, to Mexico I think, but we can’t because I have to be back here,” Kester said.
Not only is the time at home shorter for some members of the dance team, but then there is the part when they have to come back to school earlier than most students because of a scheduled game.

“When I’m at home and have to come back it is kind of a downer but when I get here I am okay,” Jones said.
Parting with family, especially after a very short break can take its toll.

And not just on the dancers.

“My mom gets a little sad when I have to come back,” Kester said.

So, with all that in mind, Stephanie Joiner said that it takes more on the mental side to get over the short break and to be able to come back to put their game faces on.

“They have great attitudes and they work hard,” Stephanie Joiner said. “They do a lot of good work and it makes my job much easier.”