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Dance team heads to national competition for second year in a row

Team offering preview performance to Xavier community at Schmidt Fieldhouse on Sunday, March 26

03/14/06

Xavier's dance team is on a roll. For the second year in a row the 12-member squad is heading to Daytona Beach, Fla., to compete in the Chick-Fil-A Cheer and Dance Collegiate Championship on April 5-9. In preparation for the national competition, the team is holding a performance on Sunday, March 26, at 6:15 p.m. at Schmidt Fieldhouse. This performance is free and open to the public.

In Daytona, the dance team is competing in Division I against more than a dozen other teams. Their routine has a money theme and incorporates hip hop, jazz and pom dance moves.

"We have a good mix of veterans and newcomers that have really stepped up and worked really hard this year,” says Ashley Grecco, senior marketing major and team co-captain. “I think this is the best team I have been on my four years here. We have a lot of strong, technical dancers that really pull everyone together and we dance as one.”

During the school year the squad practices four hours a week. Team members are also required to do an additional hour of cardio conditioning each week.

“This is a great group this year,” says Coach Steve Chapla. “They’ve really stepped things up a notch.” Chapla, a former University of Cincinnati cheerleader, has directed the squad for four years.

Also during the school year, the dance team performed during half time at several men’s and women’s basketball games. They also performed around the Cincinnati area, including at local high schools.

“I can’t imagine what life would have been like at Xavier without the dance team,” says Grecco. “Those girls have become some of my best friends. Dancing in the Cintas Center in front of crowds of over 10,000 is a great feeling. I have enjoyed representing my school while doing something that I love. I hope I can come back in future years and watch the dance team at games and remember how much fun I had.”