The Bearcat Steppers will head to Universal Dance Association College Nationals to compete Jan. 17.
The competition is being held in Orlando, Florida, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, where the Steppers will be competing for three days against eight to 17 teams, depending on the category.
Senior Captain Sarah Amos said the team takes three different dance styles to competition every year.
“We’ve always traditionally done a jazz dance, a pom dance and game day,” Amos said. “Ever since I’ve been on the team, that’s what we’ve done.”
The Steppers placed in 3rd for both the game day and pom dance categories at Nationals in 2019.
Amos said the team always looks to place high and has confidence in the team they have this year.
“We always hope to place in the top three or higher,” Amos said. “But, you never know what other teams are going to bring or what’s going to happen on the Nationals floor. We have a very talented team this year, so we’re hoping for good placements.”
The Steppers compete in the open division, meaning that they compete against Division II schools, Division III schools, NAIA schools and community colleges. Only 16 individuals are allowed to compete on each team.
Captain Andy Daine said that not everyone can compete for every dance, so they have to decide who competes for which dances.
“We have 17 people competing, but we have 18 on the team,” Daine said.
Daine said the team decides who competes in which dances based on their abilities displayed at practice.
“Dances are picked based on whether they fit the style of the dance,” Daine said.“Pom is really tight and precise; we pick dancers based on who has sharp motions. We also have a jazz, which is more flowy, so we pick dancers based on who can do the flowy stuff. Then everyone is in the last one.”
The Steppers left Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m. and will return on Jan. 20.