Dance Team Dominates in Daytona

The Pioneers Dance Team competed at the National Dance Alliance (NDA) college nationals in Daytona, Fla. on April 11-13. Led by Head Coach Reina Van Florcke, the team placed in the top 10 in three different categories: placing second in Jazz, fourth in Hip Hop, and sixth in Spirit Rally.

“Our team is humble. Something that is important to us is that everyone who comes in and teaches or talks to us talks about the culture,” said Van Florcke. “Every place that we got at nationals was for the team, not the individuals on the floor.”

Van Florcke gives credit to the three senior captains on the team for building a culture that allows the team to be successful.

“Our captains this year did a great job as leaders. The different qualities that they bring each day, worked really well for the team,” said Van Florcke.

Seniors Taylor Barone, Rielley Coles, and Jaclyn Doucette have been captains of the dance team for two straight years. Ending their careers with success at nationals was a goal they had in mind at the start of the season.

“We had a lot of strong leaders on this team. Everyone knows even though we are captains, everyone’s voice is heard. We left in a good spot, and hopefully, the team can build off of that for the future,” said Coles.

With the dance team starting practice in August, they must learn their national routines while dancing at games for other sports like football and basketball. One thing that never leaves their mind throughout the year is dancing at nationals.

“The build up to nationals is insane. We think about it all year, even when we are learning routines. Every day it is one of the only things on our minds. We have a countdown for it, and the excitement for it is awesome,” said Barone.

Van Florkce did something a little different than most years. Usually, the team holds tryouts for nationals and not everyone travels, but this season, everyone on the team traveled.

“We felt strongly about the idea of getting more dancers on the floor. That is why we did three routines instead of two. It was in the back of everyone’s minds, and we all had the same end goal,” said Van Florcke.

Of the three dances the team’s highest placement was second in Jazz, making this the highest final score in SHU Dance Team history.

“Finding out we placed second in jazz has instilled a core memory. Teamwork is what made this dance so successful. Whether you were a dancer on the Marley, as an alternate, or not in the dance at all, everyone had a part of this routine,” said Doucette. “I am so glad to see our hard work pay off. It is a rewarding feeling that proves the work is worth it.”

With nationals passing, the next season is right around the corner. Losing three senior captains the team will look to young dancers to keep the success alive.

Sophomore Abby Scott plans to take what she has learned the past two years from the captains and use it for the team next year.

“I have learned so much from my captains, they make up Sacred Heart dance. They love this team, and it was very apparent every day,” said Scott.

The team knows replacing them will not be easy, but taking what they have given them and building off it is something Scott looks to do.

“It is going to be a challenge to live up to their expectations. I plan to be open and understanding, and create a family,” said Scott.

Van Florcke also looks to build off of this season and continue where the captains left off.

“These girls have laid a foundation that no one can disrupt in the future. Underclassmen will take the qualities the captains have given them this season,” said Van Florcke.

About the author

Staff Writer

Leave a Reply