Pioneer Dance Team Prepares for Nationals

By Mark Morales

The Sacred Heart University Division I (D1) Dance team is preparing for their Nationals competition in Daytona Beach, Fla. The National competition will take place April 6 and will conclude on April 8.

The dance team will be performing two different dances. The first dance will consist of jazz, pom and hip-hop styles.  The second dance will consist of only hip-hop.

Not only do the women practice routines for Nationals, but they also have been working all year long learning
different types of routines so they can perform at the
Division 1 football and basketball games.

The team consists of about 50 women. From that 50, only 22 women are selected by separate tryouts to compete in Daytona Beach.

Dating back to 2014, the dance team has shown signs of improvement each year they entered.

Last year, the dance team placed fifth in the nation as well as fifth in hip-hop.

This year, the dance team is looking to improve again and continue their growth as a team.

“We have everything we need to place really high,” said senior Michelle Perrotta. “It’s really depending on us.  If we want it and show it then we’re going to place high.”

The dance team has been working tremendously in an effort to make finals and avoid the Challenge Cup down at Daytona Beach this year. The Challenge Cup is another way to get into finals if you are not selected to go straight to finals.

The women practice about four to five times a week for anywhere from three to four hours at a time to prepare for  competition. They also spent their spring break at Sacred Heart preparing and practice throughout all hours of the day for Nationals.

“Our goal is always to make it to finals,” said senior Anna Squiccimarri.

The women have faced several challenges over the course of the season, some of the most difficult challenges have been health.

“It’s hard to stay focused when so many people are
missing practice due to injury,” said Perrotta.

The women continued to explain that they have been plagued by the injury bug in a way.

“We had a couple of setbacks, a couple of people have gotten hurt. We had a couple of concussions,” said senior Christina Li. “Injuries and illnesses have set us back this year.”

Even though the dance team has suffered injuries over the course of the season, the women still remain very
confident and ready to perform.

“We have a really talented team this year, we are very determined,” said Li.

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