The UMD Dance team returned from the 2023 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships in Orlando this past weekend with some medals and a place in the history books. They along with some other Minnesota teams did really well in the overall competition.

The Bulldogs received 1st place in the Jazz event and 3rd place in the Pom event. These wins were of historic proportions but especially the Pom event which they have only been competing in for the last four years.

The dancers have been working so hard practicing until the wee hours of the morning in fields and parking lots too. Senior Captain Jessica Laurance said to WDIO:

It still feels like it has not really set in that we made history on the dance team. It was so such a rewarding experience to be with our teammates while hearing our names announced in first place. It was so fun at the awards; we got to see our coaches crystal clear, and we got to see their reactions and them jumping up and down with us. It was really, really fun to be able to experience that was such a great team.

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This latest victory is even sweeter for the team given the fact that they experienced a pretty rough start. Once the season began it became obvious that some of the girls were not feeling it being on the team. They had outside problems to deal with and all the teammates were supportive of their decisions. That initial adversity is what made the team even stronger.

So what does the future look like for the dance team with this new championship under their belt?  Head Coach, Alli Mackner said to WDIO: "It’s easy to get to the top, it’s harder to stay there. So we know that we’re going to have to work ten times harder if they want to keep their spot because every dance team is going to be coming out fighting through the entire state. Minnesota is known for its awesome dance teams, and the top three in jazz were all from Minnesota, and the same with pom. It’s great to have that local competition, but know that we’re all going to push each other to become better.”

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