UVU Dance Team wins UDA Division I national title in first year at competition

 UVU Dance Team

The Utah Valley University Dance Team won first place in the Varsity Universal Dance Association (UDA) Division l Jazz national competition January 20, 2019. The rigorous competition featured 22 teams, with only 10 advancing to the finals. The Wolverines placed first in the semifinals. In the finals, they faced teams from Grand Canyon University, Cal State Fullerton, University of Delaware, Hofstra University, University of Nebraska Omaha, Missouri State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Northern Arizona University, and Towson University.

Taylor Williams, a freshman team member said, “We came to UDA to change the jazz division and make a splash. Through our creativity and hard work, it felt so good to go there and do exactly what we intended.”

The UVU Dance Team began preparing for the competition in August. The UDA is considered the “Super Bowl” of college nationals. It was UVU’s first appearance in the competition.

The dance captain, Kirsten Davis, says the possibilities became apparent early on.

“I think it is so amazing that we were able to come to this competition for the first time and come away with a championship. It wasn’t just hard work at the competition, it started at our first practice. We had a fire and fight from the first time we were together, and we knew it would be a good year. Every day at practice, we could see what we had in-store and kept that in mind always.”

For the Utah Valley University Dance Team, this competition — and the outcome — was a long-term goal.

“This has been a goal of ours. UDA is a prestigious competition that we have aspired to compete at for years, and to celebrate our 10th year at a university status we figured this was the year to go,” said Coach Bri Sorenson. “Our main goal was to do our best and make a name for ourselves and our university in the dance team world on a national level. This team surpassed all expectations this year and raised the bar of innovation in the routine. The team set high goals and accomplished them by holding each other accountable at every practice. We are overjoyed to be bringing home first place, and we are honored to take the stage with so many inspiring teams.”  

UVU is the first team in the history of the UDA championship to win the title their first year participating in the competition.

 “To be able to attend such a prestigious competition was such an incredible experience for our team,” Fifth-year officer Bayleigh Loveless said. “We put in over 250 practice hours for a routine that only lasts two minutes. Taking first place in division I jazz is a memory I will take with me for the rest of my life. We not only made UVU history, but also UDA history! That is something we are so proud of.”

It’s something the team hopes the entire university community can celebrate.

Myranda Olson, vice president of the team, said they gave it all they had. “My favorite part of nationals was performing on the floor with my team and knowing that we left it all out there.

The team president, Maddy Phillips, agreed. “We loved representing our university and sharing our love for our school as well as our passion for dance.”

The winning routine can be viewed at this link. The Utah Valley dancers will perform their nationals routine live during the men’s basketball game on Feb. 21.