Dance Team flys out to nationals

Chris Procacina

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The USI dance team is ready to take its show on the road to Dayton, Fla., on April 9 where it will compete in nationals. The revamped routine was unveiled during an exhibition for family and friends Sunday at the Physical Activities Center.  Spectators witnessed certain aspects  of the team’s routine during USI basketball games.

“This is definitely the hardest routine that we do all year. But during the season, we take moves from the basketball games that we do the best because we know it will look good,” said coach Jennifer Guebert.

The team received their bid to compete at nationals at the National Dance Alliance summer camp held in Louisville, Ky.

The competition is a costly experience for each of the team’s 14 members, usually restricting nationals to an every-other-year event. Through fundraising and sponsors, the team will get to compete two years in a row for the first time.

For senior Taylor Sisk, this will be her third time making the trip to nationals.

“It’s a little strange for me because it’s probably my last time dancing,” said Sisk, who has been dancing since she was 2 years old.

The routine took shape a few months ago, allowing the women time to practice and prepare for the competition ahead.

“We had a choreographer come in and teach us (the routine) at Christmas Break,” Sisk said. “The last few weeks we’ve been working really hard at it.”

Junior Odalys Miranda-Reyes said she is looking forward to the competition and what next year may bring as well. Going into her senior season, Miranda-Reyes is not required to try out again to make the team, but plans on helping with the process.

The routine will include, and be judged on, three elements:  pom, jazz and hip-hop.

“Just the energy picking up again in jazz is my favorite part,” Miranda-Reyes said. “Pom is like really sharp arm motions.”

The team left for Nashville, Tenn., at 3 a.m. Wednesday.

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