At this year's National Dance Alliance Collegiate Championship, Dance Spirit's April cover girls from Towson University became the 2010 Division I National Champions—and we were there to see it! With unmatched energy and near-perfect precision, the "Dream Team" claimed its 12th National title. DS caught up with the girls to find out some of their favorite Nationals moments.
Erin Ragan's Top 5 Moments
#5: Eating at the Olive Garden with the whole team and everyone’s family members. It felt like one big family.
#4: Standing backstage with my team, holding hands and pumping each other up before we performed.
#3: Hitting the ending pose at finals. It's the greatest feeling of accomplishment. I cried!
#2: Walking up to get our 1st place trophy. It's almost as big as me!
#1: Taking pictures on the beach with the trophy after finals. Everyone who walked by congratulated us and it felt great!
Jennifer Maletto's Top 5 Moments
#5: The way I felt after our last practice in Daytona before finals. I walked out of the ballroom feeling confident in the team and our routine.
#4: Realizing that all of the hard work really is worth it.
#3: Waking up to my alarm at 4:45 am to dance for prelims, and realizing that it was the last time I would ever have to do that!
#2: Running out from behind the NDA banner onto the floor. Hearing our friends, family and teammates cheering is an unbelievable feeling, and this year was especially emotional being a senior.
#1: Seeing Tom's smile after we got off the floor. He is the hardest working coach and the backbone of our team. We are so lucky to have him!
Christina Barton's Top 5 Moments
#5: Whenever Tom smiles or laughs at something funny our whole team laughs along with him. The little happy moments ease the stress and anxiety of competition.
#4: After wearing a costume that covered our faces last year, it was so much fun getting our hair done, putting on make up and practicing cute and girly facial expressions for our performance.
#3: During our finals performance my shin splints became more severe. After we finished, I crawled onto the floor backstage. I was on the verge of tears staring at my right shin when our coach picked me up off the floor and said, "I don't know where the trainer is!" I couldn't help but laugh.
#2: When we boarded our plane to come back to Baltimore everyone applauded and cheered when they saw us carrying the giant 1st place trophy. It was so big it barely fit in the overhead compartment!
#1: My favorite memory was crying tears of joy during the awards ceremony after we had won first place. Hearing our school's name, seeing the recap of our performance and all the applause was overwhelming. I felt that all the blood, sweat, tears, frustration, fundraising and hours of rehearsal that we put into this year's nationals was worth it. At that moment I knew that it was not just our school, families and friends who were proud of us, but our coaches and the legacy of Towson University Dance Team members that came before us.
(From L to R) Jennifer Maletto, Erin Ragan and Christina Barton at the 2010 NDA Nationals. Photo by Michael Anne Bailey