Shocker dance team takes eighth

Sports Editor

Over the past weekend, the sunny beaches of Daytona, Fla. were filled with thousands of collegiate dancers from across the country as they competed for a national title at the National Dance Alliance Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship.

The Shocker dance team was one of the hundreds of teams to participant in the competition. Competing against 22 other collegiate dance teams in their division, the Shockers finished with a score of 9.269 and earned the eighth place title.

“I was just proud of myself and proud of my whole team for executing the way that we did and going out strong and finishing,” junior Laura Powers said. “We danced angry, as we were all saying, so it was fun.”

Making its first appearance on the national stage last season, head coach Gigi Gans said the team’s nerves for the competition were calmed by the experience of last year.

“Last year was the first time at nationals and no one knew what to expect,” Gans said. “This year, we knew what we wanted and how to get there and they just went for it this year.”

Although the team had the national competition experience under their belt, Powers said the team was ready for the task at hand and to leave everything on the dance floor.

“We felt prepared going into the competition this year and we were more comfortable going in since it was our second year going,” Powers said. “We felt we had a lot of energy and we were built up as a team and strong as a team. We felt confident but anxious to see how it was going to go but we still were confident about it. We just knew whatever the end result was we were still going to be proud of ourselves no matter what, because we did the best that we could.”

With the 2013-14 season at a close, junior Daley Frederking said the experience in Daytona was worthwhile and something she will never forget.

“It’s just a really fun atmosphere because there are hundreds of teams and you know that every team has been practicing for months and months just like you,” Frederking said. “Everyone has the same goal and it’s just a lot of high energy.”

Gans said that she noticed the drive to succeed was in a higher and much stronger place in comparison to last year. With the drive, she said the team led itself right where it wanted to end up.     

“We couldn’t be any prouder than we are now because we set out some goals and we achieved all of them,” Gans said. “So our team as a whole has done great and they worked really hard and it’s been an awesome year.”