They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
This time last week, I was glued to my computer nervously watching the live stream of the 2012 NDA Collegiate Dance Team Championships in Daytona Beach, FL. It was the first time in five years that I wasn't at the competition in person. But let me tell you—my heart was still nervously pounding as each team took the stage.
Now, a little background. I was on the dance team at Brigham Young University—an extremely competitive NDA team. I still sport my National Championship ring and still feel the pangs of sadness when I think of the year that we lost the championship to our rival by .03. While I have since moved on (Yay, Dance Spirit!) from my dance team days, my little sister carries on the torch as the president of the BYU dance team today.
This year, for the first time ever the Penn State Lionettes beat out Division IA favorites BYU and the University of Louisville with a score of 9.777! While I was sad for my little sister (BYU finished in 2nd and Louisville in 3rd) , it was really great to see a new team capture the coveted championship trophy. Also, we have to mention that Towson University won their 14th consecutive Division I title—wow!
Penn State Lionettes
Brigham Young University
University of Louisville
Then came the hip-hop competition—and allof the teams brought down the house. When you think of college dance teams, "funky" is probably not the first word that comes to mind. Well, BYU might just change that. With a 9.984, they nabbed the hip-hop championship title.
Brigham Young University
University of South Carolina
Do you think the right teams nabbed the championship? Which routine was your favorite? Watch all of your favorite teams here.