An entire team on this campus chose to attend the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a priority in mind – to dance for its nationally acclaimed dance team.
The UWSP Dance Team is closing yet another successful season with another first place trophy in the collection. For the tenth consecutive time, the team was recently named National Champions.
The six-month season, beginning in September, was well worth the 10-hour practice weeks as they danced all the way to DanceXtreme Nationals in Minneapolis in February.
Lead by captains Melissa Fischer and Monica DeLoy, the team was named National Kick Champions, placed 2nd in the pom and jazz divisions behind Orange Coast County, UWSP’s rival team, and won 3rd overall for the Grand Champions.
“We attend DX Nationals because the team has gone there for many years. We have a lot of great teams to compete against there,” Fischer said.
The 16-girl team ignited their competition season in December, competing at its Showtime Cheer and Dance Competition, the first competition that UWSP has ever hosted, held in the Health Enhancement Center for middle school level to collegiate teams across the state.
“It had a huge turnout. We won in pom and got second in jazz, placing the other collegiate teams behind us,” DeLoy said.
Since there are few opportunities for collegiate teams to compete throughout the season, each year the team also attends high school competitions to exhibit their routines. This year, the team showcased at the Green Bay Holiday Classic and WACPC State Dance in La Crosse.
“The team has always generally only danced at two competitions because many are scheduled over winter break when we are not here, but we definitely get at least two in per season,” Fischer said.
Along with the extra opportunities for performance practice, the team also dances at home football and basketball games to show the school and community who they are.
“No matter how many times we work on something in practice, it takes a performance to really set our formations, technique and facials in stone,” DeLoy said.
Outside of dancing, the team made it a goal this year to make their way out of debt and spend time fundraising, as the school’s limited budget doesn’t cover the many expenses. Because of this limited budget, the team is unable to attend UDA Collegiate Nationals in Florida, where many college teams compete at a higher level.
“This year we were able to raise enough money to be almost completely out of debt. The team has had a financial deficit as far back as anyone can remember,” Fischer said.
As the banquet draws near and the girls put final ties on this year’s team, thoughts of next year’s team are arising.
“The team had an incredible bond throughout the entire season and each and every girl worked every day to become better than they were the day before. That strong commitment is not easy to find but we definitely had it this year,” Fischer said.
Dancers that are hoping to return in the fall are using this year’s team to set the expectations for the next.
“I’m really going to miss the outstanding work ethic of each individual from this year’s team. I really hope next year’s team will have that too,” said sophomore dancer Molly Farley.
For those interested in trying out for the 2012-2013 season, try-outs have not yet been finalized, but are typically a three-day try out during the first full week of school in the fall. Keep an eye on the UWSP Dance Team Facebook page for more details.
Emma St. Aubin