Mavericks dance team places high at nationals

Jenna Peterson
Staff Writer

This past weekend the MSU Dance Team flew down to Orlando, Florida to compete at the Universal Dance Association Collegiate Nationals, held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The Mavericks competed against 35 other teams and they received second in the nation for their jazz routine and third for their pom routine. 

After competing on Saturday in the semi-finals, the dance team advanced to the finals on Sunday morning and afternoon. Here, they gave outstanding performances that were full of energy, passion and determination.

While the team practices and prepares for the football season, they are also beginning the process for nationals. Coach Jennifer said they choreography typically begins in September and the girls will learn the routines shortly after to allow time to clean, adjust and perfect the moves and tricks. This year the program did something they have never done before – the choreography incorporated a team aerial, which the girls struggled with, as well as new turn combinations. Despite these struggles, the team was able to emotionally and physically connect with the choreography and music. 

Preparing to perform in front of other schools nationwide is intimidating, but this didn’t stop the Mavericks from putting on an outstanding show. Coach Jennifer informed her dancers with what to expect, while in Orlando and how to react to the craziness. She spent an extensive amount of time with her dancers going over the plan for each day so the girls can mentally prepare in order to have a successful weekend. The team allowed time for both focus and fun while in Orlando, including a trip to Disney World. 

After their success this year, it’s easy to wonder what they’re planning for next season. Coach said that although it’s an amazing feeling to win awards and be recognized at nationals, that’s not the main goal. The plan for next year is the same as always: to push past the team’s limits, grow in strength and unity as a team and most importantly, to represent Minnesota State. 

The Mavericks are looking forward to refocusing on representing MSU while also supporting and cheering on the women and men’s basketball teams to finish off the season. 

Header photo courtesy of the MSU Dance Team.

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