January 12, 2017. The UC San Diego Dance Team left for UDA Nationals in Orlando, Florida to compete against teams from across the country. After practicing every week during the fall quarter and 35 more hours during the holiday break, the team was ready to compete in both the Jazz division and, for the first time in UCSD Dance Team history, the Pom division.
The team arrived in Florida late on a Thursday night and got their room assignments in the Disney All Star Resort. After a good night of sleep, the dancers practiced and prepared Friday afternoon before expecting to compete that Saturday morning.
The team woke up bright and early at 5:00am on the day of competition. Jazz was up first and with a division of over 30 teams, the competition was fierce. After one last run-through on the practice floor, the team took the stage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Dancing to “Brand New” by Ben Rector, the UC San Diego dancers dazzled the audience with their bright costumes and radiant smiles.
Later in the afternoon, the team took the stage again to compete their hard-hitting, high-energy Pom routine. Our dancers showed their Triton spirit and wowed the judges with their fast turns, big lifts, and high jumps!
Only a few teams move on to the Finals round on the Sunday of the competition weekend. The team waited patiently for the results and were ecstatic to hear that they had made it to Finals in the Pom category! After reviewing score sheets, practicing on the hotel pavement, and treating themselves to a little fun in Walt Disney World, the team was ready to compete in the final round of the competition the next morning.
Bringing more energy than ever, the team competed their Pom routine one last time in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Their bright smiles and awe-inspiring tricks shook up the competition as they performed. The dancers were greeted with complimentary Gatorade and towels as they exited the stage and made their way to the audience to await the results of the competition.
All teammates held hands in anticipation of the awards announcement. After the scores had been tabulated, the team was delighted to walk away from their first time competing in Pom with a trophy for 8th place!
The team and Coach Jannike Avila were proud of all they had accomplished in just a few months. Luckily, they have another chance to compete their Jazz routine at USA Nationals in Anaheim later in March. The team will also showcase their award-winning Pom routine at Spirit Night in February. The UC San Diego Dance Team continues to grow in skill and experience every year and the dancers can’t wait to compete again in March and for years to come.