The Xavier University Dance Team finished seventh in the Challenge Cup at the NCAA Cheer and Dance Collegiate Championship held in Daytona Beach April 10-12 in their fourth consecutive year of competing. Towson University won the cup for the seventh straight year. Stephen F. Austin College and UNC-Charlotte were 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The Xavier Dance Team had to overcome last minute obstacles in order to get to the competition. Just a few days before they were scheduled to fly to Florida, Skybus declared bankruptcy and the team was without tickets and without the money they had raised. They scrambled to get tickets, by this time much more expensive, in order to get to competition. The squad will be reimbursed by the credit card carrier for the Skybus tickets, but are still in the hole for the more expensive replacements. Now they face much additional fundraising to cover the additional cost.
“The coaches couldn’t be more proud of the team and how they performed,” says Steve Chapla, who assists with the team. “Even with all the obstacles, these girls stayed positive throughout and finished higher than ever.”
During the school year, the squad practices eight hours a week. In addition, they do numerous performances and fundraisers. Team members are also required to do an additional hour of cardio conditioning each week. They have performed at Reds games, Xavier Club Football games, men’s basketball games, and high school basketball games. Jennifer Smith, former UC dancer, is in her second year as head coach of Xavier’s Dance Team. Steve Chapla, a former UC cheerleader, is in his sixth year assisting the team.
Tryouts for next year’s dance team will be held April 29 at 6:30 pm at the O’Connor Sports Center. Candidates will be taught a routine at the tryout and then perform. In addition, individual skills will be observed: double and triple pirouettes, switch leap, straddle leap, and fouette turns. Contact Jennifer Smith at 513 374-9343 for more information.