College Dance Team Central

Sunday, April 12, 2009

LBSU Dance Team Wins Division For First Time

By Megan Clancy
Daily49er.com

CSULB's Dance Team won the USA Collegiate Dance Team Nationals in Anaheim, where the Cheer Team and the Mascot also won first place, in late March.

Teams from all over the country attended the competition, and CSULB entered three areas: Cheer Small Co-ed, Mascot and Open Dance Division 1, according to Chance Decker, the Beach Pride Center coordinator.

According to ASI's website, the Mascot, Dance Team, Beach Band, the Cheer Team and ASI Commissions all are part of Beach Pride, intended to increase campus spirit through special events, promotions, competitions and other activities.

Next, the Dance Team competed against 12 other teams. Finally, the Cheer Team, coached by Eric Anderson, competed against seven teams.

"It is exciting for the Dance Team to win because they have never won this division," said Rey Lozano, Dance Team coach. “What was also exciting for the Dance Team is that they also won the UDA Collegiate Dance Team Nationals in January in Orlando, Fla.”

Dance Team members tend to stay on the team for two years only, since they do not only compete but also perform at sports events and school functions, Lozano said.

“Many of them come to practice sleep deprived,” Lozano said.

He also mentioned balancing practice sessions and commitments with school is very difficult for all team members.

“The girls worked so hard this year at becoming united as a team and looking like one, they understood the importance of this when it came to final performance, they were very successful at doing that in every way,” said Ange Andros, Lozano’s Assistant Coach. “They dedicated their time and energy to being the best they could be for the team and worked together the entire season and was proud to represent the school.”

Just Dance! was the girls’ motto that kept them going at the two major competitions, Andros said.

Lozano continues to coach at CSULB because he said he wants to experiment with new elements of choreography.

Winning is tough because team members make mistakes sometimes, or unable to execute the material, Lozano said.

Lozano added that he sometimes over-choreographed routines which contribute to losing at competitions. Broadway shows, new music, dance concerts and Dance Team members inspire Lozano to come up with new choreography ideas.

“In the past four years routines have evolved into routines that tell the audience a story,” Lozano said.

According to Andros, Lozano’s choreography is very different which sets the girls apart, since it is very fast moving and exciting, leaving the audience wanting to see more.

Lozano also coaches the Dance Team members on nutrition and health.

He encourages them to take vitamin supplements and to eat well for the best performance at competitions and in shows, according to Andros.

“Members of both teams have to sacrifice personal time and vacations including Spring Break, and that’s what wins national championships,” Decker said.

Dance Team members are required to have advanced dance skills and high academic achievement at CSULB upon admission, according to Lozano.

Auditions for the Dance Team for next year is on May 5th, and auditions for the Cheer team is on May 8th and 9th, according to Decker. Team members must maintain a GPA of 2.0 to stay on the team, Decker said.

Unlike other sports at CSULB, team members on the Dance and Cheer Teams have to pay to be on the team.

Students can contact ASI to audition for any of the teams at (562) 985-2535. To view all the three performances, visit http://www.varsity.com/event.aspx?event=1142. For more information about Beach Pride, http://www.asicsulb.org/beachpride/.

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