Dance Team heads to Florida this spring

Megan Evenson

For the first time in SDSU history the SDSU dance team is going to a national dance competition. Head coach Christie Madsen said the team has been preparing since the beginning of July for the National Dance Alliance College National Championship competition.

“We hired a choreographer from Texas, we use basketball and football games to practice, and have also participated in local competitions,” she said.

The NDA national competition will be held at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach Florida April 11 through 15. The competition is run concurrently with the National Cheerleaders Association national competition at the same time and place.

Madsen believes the competition is a chance for the team to gain some national recognition.

“I am very excited and nervous, but I’m really looking forward to exposing the SDSU dance team because they have never had this type of opportunity at the collegiate level,” Madsen said.

Elizabeth Huckins, junior captain for the team, has high hopes for the competition as well.

“I’m hoping the dance team gains exposure as a competitive dance team because as a team, there is so much potential,” she said.

Huckins and Madsen both agree being a member of the dance team is a huge time commitment. Preparation for competitions not only happens in practice, but takes additional work outside of scheduled practices.

“The girls on the team are constantly working to keep each other motivated,” Huckins said. “We practice three times a week and each practice is about four hours long plus putting extra time in outside of practice.”

The team will be performing in the Jazz and Hip-Hop portions of the competition with approximately 15 to 20 teams participating in each section. The dance team, just like any other SDSU sport, is at the Division I level.

Ashlee Risse, the senior captain of the dance team, is also very excited about the upcoming competition. Risse assists coach Madsen in any way she can, such as running practice when the coach isn’t there.

“There is so much I am looking forward to, but what I am most looking forward to is being able to compete again one last time before I graduate,” Risse said.

The dance team has had to raise its own money to attend the competition because SDSU doesn’t have the funds to support the program. It will cost about $1,000 to $1,200 per girl.

“My main concern is being able pay for all of the expenses because of the lack of funds. I believe when the day is finally here, the hard work and money will be worth it,” Risse said.

Despite the potential hold back, Risse, Huckins and Madsen have a message for their fans, “Thank you for all of your support, it has really made a difference in our performances.”

For anyone interested in the 2012- 2013 season, tryouts are April 20 and April 21. They will be held on campus, but the location is not yet determined. If you have any questions contact coach Madsen at [email protected].