UDA College Dance Team Championship – Tips from the UDA Staff

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College Nationals is one of the biggest events of the year in the dance team world. Along with the high intensity that is undoubtedly associated with the weekend, it is also one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences as well. While nationals may seem like an out-of-this-world experience, below are some tips that we believe can help you and your team make the most out of the competition:

  1. Trust your training! You have not spent the past 6+ months perfecting your routines for nothing- trust in the fact that you and your teammates are holding yourselves and each other accountable when it matters the most.
  2. Stay focused! At UDA College Nationals, there are a lot of other talented teams, but always remember who you are there for- YOUR team and YOUR school!
  3. Be humble but still be confident. Every team has worked hours upon hours to perfect their routines, including yours. Be confident in the progress you have made but don’t discredit other teams in the process.
  4. Give 110%. This is your one and only chance to show what you’ve worked all year for, don’t throw it all away. Every movement you make on the nationals floor should have strength, purpose, and over the top energy.
  5. When performing, do not go on autopilot simply because you are anxious! Remember your cleans and enjoy the moment, because your team’s performance will be over before you know it, and you want to ensure you did everything you could to help reach your team’s goal!
  6. Always remember who you are representing. Being apart of a collegiate dance team, you represent your school, community, alumni, and so much more! So whatever the outcome of the competition may be, remember to always represent your team in a positive manner.
  7. Don’t let the experience overwhelm you. Nationals is a jam-packed weekend and you seldom have time to think about anything other than your routines, but don’t let it get to the point that you can’t enjoy it.
  8. Be present. When you are at nationals, the only thing on your mind should be (and most likely will be) nationals. It’s only three days out of the whole year. Give it all of your attention while you’re there, everything else can wait.
  9. Remember that it’s okay to have emotions! You don’t have to be impassive to be successful. The nerves will get to you and so will the excitement, it’s perfectly normal (and healthy) to express what you’re feeling; but also remember that you are not going through it alone! Each person standing next to you is going through the same thing, don’t be afraid to lean on your teammates when you need the extra support and be there in return when they need you.
  10. Most importantly, have fun! The whole entire weekend is truly a once in a lifetime experience, so be sure that you soak it all in! You would not be dancing on a college dance team if you did not like dancing- so be sure to always remember that when pressure of nationals seems daunting! When you have fun, the experience is more memorable.

Although in the moment it may be hard to remember everything we listed above, we hope these tips can bring you a better piece of mind when it comes to mentally and physically preparing for nationals. You may not know it now, but you are about to face one of the most memorable weekends of your college career. Continue working hard and fighting all the way until you step on the nationals floor. Wishing you and your team the best of luck!

Olivia Smith (University of Cincinnati) and Harley Southmayd (University of Memphis)

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