College Dance Team Central

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lionettes Take Third At Nationals

By Jocelyn Syrstad
Collegian Online

JoAnn Esposito had goosebumps as she sat poolside in Daytona, Fla., Saturday.

The weather was gorgeous, but the sensation would come every time the senior co-captain on the Lionettes Dance Team thought of her team's performance at the National Dance Alliance (NDA) championship over the weekend.

The Lionettes finished in third place, the team's best finish ever, behind only Brigham Young and Louisville, which are the two teams that have dominated the championships for nearly 20 years.

"There are no words to describe how I am feeling right now," Esposito said. "When they announced fourth place, and it wasn't us, we just hit our knees and collapsed on the floor. It's just amazing."

The competition consists of a preliminary and final round and showcases teams from all over the country. Esposito said the preliminary round was the best performance the team has ever done, which propelled them into finals.

However, senior co-captain Erin Zoch said the Lionettes were nervous after their final performance because the dancers were so exhausted from performing two days in a row. But the end result was more than they could have asked for, and they forgot about how sore and tired they were, she said.

"We pushed ourselves to the limit, and we are just so proud we pushed ourselves the way we did," Zoch said. "We left everything out on the floor. It's just unreal."

Finishing behind both BYU and Louisville was like a first place finish for the team, Esposito said. Since the two teams have such a legacies in NDA, it is unheard of to beat them. The Cougarettes Dance Team of BYU has won eight NDA titles and finished in the top-4 three other times since 1997.

However, after the preliminary competition, a dancer from BYU came up to the Lionettes and told them the BYU parents told their daughters to watch out for Penn State because the Lionettes were a threat this year.

"We just can't believe this moment has actually come," senior co-captain Alexandra Costello said. "People are scared of us, and we are actually up there with the best. We've accomplished our goals."

The Lionettes finished fourth at last year's championships and had a goal of finishing in the top-3 this year. However, the team faces many challenges because of not having a coach and having to rely on themselves to see success -- something that is rare in collegiate dance.

The senior members of the team expressed how fortunate the team is to have grown and developed into a top-notch team, and they're confident the Lionettes will continue to break barriers in years to come.

"It's just amazing, and it makes us realize nothing can stop us," Esposito said. "I just want the girls to keep pushing. We've achieved all of our goals and now we know that anything is possible."

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home