The Cabrini dance team was awarded the thirdplace trophy on Sunday, Jan. 17 at the Battle of the Northeast dance competition. The competition was hosted by South Brunswick High School in N.J. The dance team competed against 67 other entries in their first Universal Dance Association Competition. Bloomsburg University took first place and Iona College took second place.
“After being a student run organization for eight years strictly performing at home basketball games and the annual ‘Cabrini Night at the Phillies,’ it was time we took ourselves a step further in reaching our long-term goal of one day going to nationals, with the help of faculty advisor and coach, Dr. Michelle Filling,” sophomore Mallory Beach, asst. captain, said.
The dance team knew that they had to throw themselves out there and start competing against other colleges to see where they stand as a college dance team.
“We went into it with the attitude of we were going to go and place or it was going to be a learning experience,” Filling said.
The dance that the team took to the competition was a jazz piece choreographed by a West Chester alumnus, April Halligan. Halligan took her dance team to nationals during her four years of college.
“We have been performing this dance sporadically throughout the semester at events such as basketball games, Fox29’s ‘Paint the Town Red’ special, and the Cabrini College Contemporary Dance Company’s winter concert,” Beach said. “Having all this experience of performing the same dance, we were confident as a team with our skill and execution of the choreography to compete against other schools.”
As far as getting prepared for the competition, the dance team moved back onto campus Thursday, Jan. 7 and the dancers had practice all day every day until Monday, Jan. 11.
“Although everyone was upset about losing four girls on the team, we knew we had to put it behind us and concentrate on our upcoming performances,” Bariglio said.
The team had lost four performers last semester, but they knew they had to put it behind them and concentrate on what they had to work with to win a trophy at competition.
“Iona and Bloomsburg had about 20 something dancers and we only had eight. I didn’t feel the lack of numbers impacted the girls in any way,” Filling said.
The competition was a day full of excitement for the dance team but also a long day. The overall competition was a great experience for the dance team. Besides performing, the team was able to watch other schools dances and were able to critique their talents.
“You are there from 10 a.m. and awards don’t start till 4 p.m. It was so exciting to just see all the groups sitting together with their warm-ups in the middle of the gym floor. There was so much spirit throughout the gym,” Filling said.
The dance team competed in a jazz number. In the future they hope to compete in both jazz and hip-hop, and possibly make it to nationals. During the competition, a prospective high school student sat with the team, cheering them on as they performed.
“We had prospective high school students see us, and one of them has already contacted the admissions office and me about being on the team,” Filling said.
An advertisement for Cabrini’s dance team will be airing during the commercials of MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.” The dance team will be dancing at a Phillies game in April.