"PRIDE" Is The Word

With hard work and the "Pride" to be the best, the University of Cincinnati Dance team has become a force across the country. This is Margot Inzetta's first story on Bearcat Insider. Look for much more of her work in the weeks to come.

There are few sports at UC that have gained national recognition, and there are no sports that have brought home a national title three straight years in a row.

The UC dance team recently brought home their third straight national title in the hip hop division of dance at the national competition in Orlando. The team has remained untouchable in the hip hop category since it was added in 2004 becoming a three-time defending champion.

Assistant Coach and former team captain, Jen Endres explained the overall team feeling after capturing the title for the third year in a row in one word: Pride.

"The team felt a sense of accomplishment and feeling that their hard work had finally paid off," Endres said.

Hard work really does pay off, especially for a team that practices nearly everyday for four hours to prepare for the national competition.

Endres explained that the team began practicing every night for four hours in September and kept that schedule up until the national competition in January.

There are few teams that work as hard as the UC Dance Team does at perfecting their skill.

A typical practice for the dance team is a grueling workout that includes miles of running, technique work and hours of dancing.

Endres explained that the team starts off every practice with a 2 mile run. Then they work on technique and practice their routines for the remaining four hours. On top of their practice schedule the girls make it a point to workout outside of practice and eat healthy, Endres said.

"Athleticism is our biggest strength," Endres said, "We are in really good shape compared to other teams."

The team has no problems keeping the morale up during the months of the exhausting practice schedule.

"The girls have great chemistry and they all get along really well," Endres said, "If they weren't here practicing they would probably all be together somewhere else."

This year, the team knew they had to step it up in order to maintain their title in the hip hop division. Endres explained that this year, the number of team competing in the hip hop division nearly doubled.

"We knew everyone had stepped up their level and choreography," Endres said.

The team also stepped it up technically to become more competitive in the jazz dance division.

"Technique has become a bigger part of the team," Endres explained, "Our goal is to step it up in dance."

Endres explained that the team hopes to get a national title in the jazz dance division to share with the title in the hip hop division.

The team finished sixth in the Division 1A jazz category.

There are 27 members of the 2005/2006 UC Dance Team.  Here is a list of the members, years on the team and hometown.

NAME

YEARS MEMBER

HOMETOWN

Ashlie Wilkson

5

Huber Heights, Ohio

Julie Wiesman

4

Fairfield, Ohio

Kristen Collins

4

Bethel, Ohio

Cari Oldendick

4

New Richmond, Ohio

Cynthia Schenk

3

Harrison, Ohio

Emily Kinker

3

Cincinnati, Ohio

Julie Lamey

3

Cincinnati, Ohio

Marybeth Keating

3

Cincinnati, Ohio

Holly Harvey

3

Cincinnati, Ohio

Julianne Dota

2

Poland, Ohio

Jennifer Bernier

2

Loveland, Ohio

Emily Greenstone

2

Mason, Ohio

Sarah Miyagawa

2

Cincinnati, Ohio

Danielle Deyo

2

Loveland, Ohio

Ashley Kahles

2

Cincinnati, Ohio

Hanah Patterson

1

Greenhills, Ohio

Tiffany Patterson

1

Cincinnati, Ohio

Sabrina Salter

1

Mason, Ohio

Jamie Cobb

1

Cincinnati, Ohio

Ali Atsalis

1

Wilmington, Ohio

Lauren Weller

1

Cincinnati, Ohio

Kristen Olsen

1

Medford, New York

Holly Dignan

1

Cincinnati, Ohio

Melanie Trader

1

Cincinnati, Ohio

Kristin Drew

1

Cincinnati, Ohio

Jessica Roper

1

Cincinnati, Ohio

Lauren Mitchell

1

Cincinnati, Ohio


Bearcat Insider Top Stories