NDA College Nationals Finals

Last weekend I jumped on a plane to Daytona Beach, FL and headed to the NDA College Dance Team Championship. Our April cover girls from Towson University’s dance team were competing for their 12th national title, and we wanted to be there to cheer them on.

 If you haven’t been to NDA nationals before, I highly recommend making the trip next year. It’s a one of a kind experience that you’ll likely never forget. Competing the same weekend as the dancers are the NCA Collegiate Cheerleading teams. Yes, you will feel like you stepped into Bring It On. And you can forget about getting good night’s rest—there are teams practicing until all hours of the night right outside your window! [Note: If you don’t have it by the time you get there, you’re probably not going to get it.]

After a long day of prelims on Thursday, the scores were close, and the tops teams were only separated by a few tenths of a point. It was intense—I love competition. I was more than ready for Friday morning’s finals, but nervous for all of the teams.

In Divisions I, II and III the competition was tough, but the first place winners were not surprising. However, it was a showdown in Division IA—literally. Up to this point in the competition the divisions had alternated so that no two teams competing against each other went back-to-back. But when it got to the end, there were only two teams left: The University of Louisville and Brigham Young University, the top two Division IA contenders. They both executed perfect routines, but their strengths were different. Louisville’s precision, formations and jumps were outstanding. BYU’s technique, artistry and choreography were untouchable. All I can say is that I’m SO glad I was not a judge.

After the routines were performed the crowd went silent, eagerly anticipating the results. Division III Champions: McLennan Community College. Division II Champions: Hawaii Pacific University. Division I Champions: Towson University (YAY!). Finally, we were to Division IA. The emcee announces that the top two teams are divided by less than three hundredths of a point (oh my gosh!!) and the crowd goes crazy. “And the second place team, from….(30 second pause-Seriously??)…. Louisville, KY, the University of Louisville! Brigham Young went crazy. Their parents cried, their coach cried, their dancers cried, I even cried. Congratulations to the BYU Cougarettes on a job well-done and a title well-deserved.

And Congratulations to the Ladybirds. You were fabulous as well. I can’t wait for next year.

To see the routines from this year’s competition, click here.

Photo by Jayme Thornton

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