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UDA Nationals; A Dancer’s Superbowl

Students+rewatching+Ohio+State%E2%80%99s+performance.
Gaby Suazo
Students rewatching Ohio State’s performance.

Referred to as the ‘Dance Super Bowl’, the Universal Dance Associated (UDA) Championship occurred this past weekend. Collegiate dance, cheer, and poms teams flooded the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. The three day event challenged artists in physically demanding manors. 

With 300 universities spreading across 48 states, the competition was guaranteed to be fierce. Cheerleading teams are judged by stunting, tumbling, crowd-leading ability and overall performance. Dance is scored depending on choreography, technique, execution, and major effects on audience.

Morgan Montgomery, a junior and passionate dancer tuned into to watch this year’s battles. “I was in awe when I saw Ohio State. It was very inspiring. The lifts and the utilization of the ties were so impressive,” expressed Montgomery. Ohio State has beautiful dancers that are all set with a knowledge of challenging skills and emotional assets. The choreography not only highlights their individual strength but also trust as a team. Lifts in every corner and jumps popcorning around the stage made the performance exciting to watch. Several social media platforms including TikTok raved about the Buckeyes insane execution.

Similar to Ohio, the University of Minnesota’s dance was filled with creative tricks and effortless flow. Montgomery adds, “Minnesota’s turn sequence, a la seconds into the aerials, was groundbreaking. The fact that the whole team could do that was so cool.” Minnesota also had quite the online attention. TikTok trends of their challenging turn patterns had both non-dancers and dancers puzzled. 

From the start Ohio had been a crowd favorite. On the first day of UDA, they won the Jazz prelims and then topped Minnesota in the semifinals the following day. On Sunday, the Buckeyes secured the top prize with a score of 98.9206. Minnesota acquired second place with a score of 98.4762. 

“I was rooting for Ohio,” admits Montgomery. “It was a non-traditional yet so technical dance. “You could see Ohio’s passion. It provoked more emotion.”

Louisiana State University earned third place in Division IA Jazz, under Ohio and Minnesota. However, LSU thrived in Division IA for Hip Hop. Michael Jackson was a clear inspiration for this clean, entertaining piece. LSU’s dancers dominated the stage with style and diversity. Their final score for Hip Hop was 97.2222. Montgomery concludes, “LSU’s hip hop was so good. They kill it every year.”

The UDA Nationals are an annual celebration of artistry made to showcase athletes’ talent individually and as a team. This competition engages any kind of audience with its flair, uniqueness, and beautiful sport known as dance.

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About the Contributor
Gaby Suazo, Staff Member
Hi, I’m Gaby Suazo and I am a sophomore. This is my first year writing for Paw Post and I am so excited to share what I am passionate about! Other than writing, I enjoy dancing, thrifting, hiking, listening to music (Tame Impala, boygenius, SZA, Adrianne Lenker, Tyler, the Creator) and eating pesto pizza.
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    morganJan 18, 2024 at 6:13 pm

    This article ate! I love Gaby’s writing just as much as I loved Ohio’s dance.

    Reply