College Dance Team Central

Friday, May 01, 2009

OSU Dance Team Wins Big In Daytona

By April Bohnert
The Lantern

The Ohio State Dance Team is a student-run club sport. The members don't get trainers, nutritionists or team uniforms. Everything they have and everything they have achieved they have had to work twice as hard for. So every year, when the team travels to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the National Dance Alliance College Dance Team Nationals in early April, the odds are against them.

The team starts practicing in July for the NDA College Dance Team camp in Louisville, Ky. This year at camp, the team finished first in team dance, won the Most Collegiate Award and received a full paid bid to the national competition.

In Daytona, the team performs in a preliminary competition that allows only 11 teams to move on. In the past, the OSU Dance Team has not made it to the finals, but in recent years they have grown increasingly stronger.

Two years ago, the team placed seventh, only to come back in 2008 to take third. This year team won second place in the nation.

But they don't plan to stop there.

"It felt good, but at the same time, I'm ready to go back," said Rachel Hughes, a third-year team member and junior in marketing.

"I know next year we're gonna go back really wanting it."

From summer to spring, the team performs at pep rallies, OSU men's basketball games, a Cleveland Cavaliers game and charity events, such as Dancers Responding to AIDS. They practice two days a week and work out the three days in between practice.

While many OSU students are sprawled out on beaches enjoying Spring Break, the dance team is practicing seven hours a day to prepare for the national championship.

"All throughout college, I've never had a spring break," Hughes said.

When they're not performing or practicing, the OSU Dance Team is out raising money and seeking sponsorships to help alleviate the costs that, otherwise, come out of their own pockets.

"When other dance teams can rest, we're out doing fundraising," Hughes said.

The team holds dance clinics for children from 5 years old to high school. Frequently, high schools and dance studios will contact the team to come in and work with students, team captain Lindsay Molla said.

The proceeds from the clinics and other fundraisers go toward uniforms, equipment, travel expenses and competition fees.

OSU Dance Team will be holding tryouts in May. The dates can be found at ohiostatedanceteam.com.

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