College Dance Team Central

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cincinnati Dance Team To Represent United States

By Reggie Philpott
The News Record

The University of Cincinnati dance team has already brought home a national championship this year, and now will represent the United States in the first ever International Cheer Union World Championship.

The team has been selected by USA Cheer from a pool of outstanding college dance teams to compete as Team USA in Orlando, Fla., on April 24.

The competition will be held at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports complex, the same site as the Universal Dance Association national championship.

The University of Cincinnati dance team has already brought home a national championship this year, and now will represent the United States in the first ever International Cheer Union World Championship.

The team has been selected by USA Cheer from a pool of outstanding college dance teams to compete as Team USA in Orlando, Fla., on April 24.

The competition will be held at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports complex, the same site as the Universal Dance Association national championship.

Teams from 25 to 30 other countries will also enter the contest, according to UC Dance Team Head Coach Lisa Spears.
When Spears made the announcement to the members of the team over lunch at Holy Grail Tavern and Grill on Friday, Feb. 6, they exploded in cheers and excitement as yet another organization validated their position as the best team of competitive college dance in the U.S.

“We have no idea what world [championship competition] is going to be like,” said second year team member Chandra Miller. “It’s something new that UC dance has never experienced before.”

Over the past six years the Bearcats have won four national championships with their hip-hop routines, showcasing a consistent ability to compete on the biggest and toughest stage.

Now they have an opportunity to take things to the next level.

“We’re representing the entire United States,” said fourth-year team member Jamie Cobb. “There’s so many teams out there and they picked us, from Clifton.”

The new international competition is part of a continuing drive to get competitive dance recognized as an Olympic sport.
The International Cheer Union also invited three members of the Olympic selection committee to the national championship this year, according to Spears.

“If some day this becomes an Olympic sport and we’re the ones that help get it there, that would be an incredible honor for this program,” Spears said.

Fresh off of the triumph at nationals, the announcement came at a time when the dance team is usually winding out the season by performing at basketball games and preparing for tryouts in the spring.

This year, the intensity will stay at a high level for two more months as the team dedicates their time and energy to a brand new competition.

The team will continue to practice 20 or more hours per week as they condition themselves to stay in competitive form.

In addition to the hip-hop and dance categories that form the national championship, the ICU World Championship will also hold a competition in the freestyle cheer category, a pom-pom routine.

Above and beyond any other team in the country, the UC dance team demonstrated that they have the ability to win an international competition in all three categories, according to a USA Cheer press release.

For the competition, the team will learn three, newly-choreographed routines.

The international competition will shed more light on the high level of skill of the athletes on the team, as well as around the world, according to Spears.

Labels: ,