The SVSU Club Dance team placed fifth in the National Dance Alliance’s Collegiate Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida, this month.
Team President Kirsten Moore said the journey to nationals was long and they didn’t know what to expect, but they were ready to work.
“We had a lot on our plate since we perform at all home football and basketball games,” she said. “We also had to prepare for nationals. We paid a choreographer for our routines for both jazz and hip hop. But the rest was up to us.”
Moore said that during her freshman year, the dance squad was only an eight-member team, and they didn’t perform at many games.
That has transformed to an 18-person team that performed at every basketball and football game this year and other events including the National Dance Allegiance Camp and nationals.
For nationals, Moore said they had to clean up both dances, make changes, find costumes and utilize teamwork to demonstrate that the club was fully responsible to take on the challenge. In addition, the club had to fundraise to afford the trip, but their camp success helped pay for the expenditures.
“At camp, we received a silver paid bid to nationals, and that helped us tremendously,” Moore said. “The cheapest way to get to Florida was by car, so we drove straight there and straight back.”
She said the first day was Jazz Division II preliminaries, and she said due to the energy during the dance, she came off the stage in tears, as she was confident they had done well.
“It didn’t make it any easier that I am a senior and I knew this would be one of my last times performing with the team,” Moore said. “After we performed we found out hours later that we made it to the finals.”
The second day was Jazz Division II Finals and Hip Hop Division II preliminaries, and Moore said it was on that day that the team discovered they had come in fifth place for both Jazz and Hip Hop Division II.
Moore said the journey made the team closer, though it’s always a learning process. Next year, she said, they can only go up from their current position.
She said her favorite part of the club is that the group acts similar to a little family in that they don’t only dance but that they also assist each other in school, work or their social life.
She said members meet their best friends on the team and it always people to become involved on SVSU’s campus.
“I am very proud to say we are fifth in the nation, because it took a lot of work to get to that,” she said. “Hard work in regarding lots of paper work, long practices, more practices and dedication. I am very honored and happy to end my senior year on this note.”
Though tryouts were on Sunday, April 23, students interested in SVSU Club Dance can visit svsudance.wixsite.com/svdanceteam.