College Dance Team Central

Saturday, January 30, 2010

CSUF Dance Team Wins National Title

By Katelin Paiz

The Cal State Fullerton dance team beat out dancers from around the country to win this year’s UCA Division college national title, which was hosted in Orlando, Florida on the Jan. 17. The win gave the team its ninth title in 11 years.

“It was very intense,” said Chelsea Horn, a member of the team for the past two years. “There were a lot of teams there, but we were able to focus throughout the whole experience, which I think really helped us do well.”

This win follows what the team’s advisers call a disappointing third place finish in last year’s competition.

“To not only lose our title but to get third place, it was just a hard loss,” said adviser Jennie Volkert, an alumnus of the team. Volkert added, however, that “to come back this year and be there with the girls and actually take our title back and get the win, it was amazing.”

The team was able to beat out local rivals Cal State Long Beach by over 13 points.

“This year was probably the best competition I’ve ever seen. I mean it could have gone a lot of different ways. We, fortunately, just had an amazing performance,” said Volkert.

The team credits its win to the incredible amount of work the team put in. During competition season, the team practices every day.

“They’re 100 percent devoted, that’s for sure,” said adviser Sam Shen, who, like her colleague, is an alumna of the team.
Only 10 of the 11 dancers were able to compete following an incident last month in which one of the dancers hurt her thumb, an injury that required surgery, during a performance at a basketball game.

Team captain Sarah Ellman said she felt that the team was driven.

“We just pretty much did everything we could to really focus this year and we were determined to win,” said Ellman.
In a bonding effort, the dancers were paired up in a big sister/little sister fashion in which one of the teams veterans adopted a newcomer.

“We quickly bonded with them by having little sister/big sister,” said Ellman; adding, “some of us even room together off campus.”

For 11 years, the team has been a fixture on campus, starting as a club under ASI. The team was adopted by the athletics department five years ago and has been an integral part of the CSUF Spirit Squad, made up of cheerleaders, dancers and mascots, ever since.

The team mainly performs at men’s and women’s basketball games but also attends volleyball, soccer and baseball games.

The tryouts for the team will likely be held between mid April and early May.

An airing of the performance will be made available on ESPN and ESPN2 within the month.

The team will be performing its national-winning routine at the homecoming game this Saturday.

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