USA Dance Nationals
The UCSD Dance Team traveled to Anaheim, California this past weekend to compete in USA Dance Nationals at the Anaheim Convention Center. In the two weeks leading up to the weekend, the team put in over 22 hours of practice time to prepare. The team departed Saturday morning to arrive at an Airbnb for lunch and to begin getting ready for the competition. By the evening, they had rehearsed and performed both their Pom and Jazz routines in the Semi-finals to the adoration of their friends and family. Afterwards, they got back to the house to enjoy dinner, and discuss the judges' notes and scores in order to outperform themselves in the finals the next day. On Sunday, the day of finals they woke up early to practice before getting ready to compete that afternoon. They performed their Pom routine when it was their time to compete, and afterwards, only had about 25 minutes to prepare for their Jazz routine “Sweet Dreams.”
After two years of not getting to compete due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, finally the team got their chance to showcase all their hard work. Competing in Anaheim allowed the opportunity for more family and friends to come support, as fortunately most of the team members are from California. Whereas in the past, they had only gone to Nationals in Florida where it was difficult for families to travel, so it was extra-special having the people they care most about to share that experience and witness the joy of performing with their teammates.
The Pom routine was a mix of various songs surrounding the theme of mirrors and reflections. It was a high-energy, exciting routine with intricate visuals and difficult tricks that each member executed to perfection. The Dance Team had so much fun on stage, there is nothing like feeling your hard work pay off surrounded by your dedicated teammates experiencing it alongside youl. The routine received 3rd Overall in the 4-Year College Division.
Their Jazz routine song, “Sweet Dreams,” was a slowed-down, live version of Beyonce’s 2008 hit song “Sweet Dreams.” It was a powerful, intense piece that builds up in emotion, as seen through the dancers' expressions and movement. The routine received 4th Overall in the extremely competitive Division 1 Jazz category and the team couldn’t be more thrilled. Each judge scored both dances higher than they had the day before, showcasing the teams' ability to take their notes and expand on them, leaving it all out on the floor.
Being the teams’ first competition in NCAA Division 1, they couldn’t be happier with their placement in both dances. Historically, 4th place was the highest the team had ever received; to receive 3rd in D1 was more than they could have asked for. The UCSD Dance Team is so looking forward to the future, this team truly just keeps getting bigger and better!