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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

While many people are preparing for the NFL Playoffs and watching with bated breath as their teams punt, intercept and tackle, this past week dancers and ex-dancers alike prepared for our Super Bowl: the UDA Nationals.

In 1980, The Universal Dance Association was founded to give university and high school dance teams (known back then as “drill teams”) an opportunity to learn from excellent choreographers and promote the sport as a whole. Now, in 2024, the College Nationals competition is a coveted competition by college dance teams everywhere. Teams are allowed to compete their routines in two of the three categories: hip-hop with eclectic choreography, jazz with mesmerizing sparkly costumes, and pom with exquisite synchronicity.

But this year more than past, the competition gained attention on the internet through three routines that caught everyone by storm:

The Ohio State University took home the gold in the jazz category with their passionate and heartfelt routine to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”. Amidst the seamless blend of sheer artistry, passion and hard work they captivated the audience with their usage of props. Each dancer wore a red tie, which was creatively used to hold their legs in the air, and a vest that was eventually torn off and thrown into the audience. OSU perfectly executed a blend of movement and stillness to create a masterpiece of a routine.

Winning the hip-hop category with an homage to the “Smooth Criminal” Michael Jackson was the Louisiana State University Tiger Girls. With their sparkly white suits, they combined modern hip-hop with Jackson’s iconic moves and did not miss their chance to move and groove on stage, causing the audience to do so as well.

Lastly, while the University of Minnesota Spirit Squad won the pom category, they stole and stopped hearts with their Aerosmith “Dream On” jazz routine. In an already intricate dance with leaps, tumbling, and partnering, the Spirit Squad shook the crowd with their turn section that included a side aerial (no-handed cartwheel) smack in the middle of turning and continuing to turn in a synchronized sea of turquoise afterward.

While these 3 routines grabbed the attention of most people, one of my favorite routines from the weekend was the University of California Santa Barbara’s jazz routine to “Fix You” by Cody Fry. While I am biased because one of my hometown friends is on the team, I found the routine to be a technically clean and sweet dance that so clearly demonstrates how much these girls love dancing with each other. 

We’re only 11 months and three weeks away from getting to witness it all again, but if you’re impatient like me, many of the routines have been uploaded to YouTube or other social media platforms and we can enjoy them while we count the days down until next year!

Lila Ryan is a first-year student at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently a writer. Her favorite things to write about are film/music reviews, pop culture, and pretty much anything arts related! She is pursuing both a major in History as well as a minor in Political Science. In addition to being a part of Her Campus, she is a member of Pitt’s Treble Choral Ensemble and Pitt Dance Ensemble. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school for a Master of Arts with Teacher Certification. Outside of class and Her Campus, Lila loves baking, Fleetwood Mac, reading, movie marathons, hockey, flowers, and everything coffee-related.