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What it Means to Compete “Like a Boy”: LSU Tiger Girls Dance Team Wins Nationals in Style

After being banned from competing in the 2021 UDA College Nationals competition in Orlando, Florida, the LSU Dance team sent a clear message with their near perfect scoring championship routine in the 2022 UDA Nationals event. The girls have brought back the hip hop championship title to Baton Rouge, and they did it in clear style.

Louisiana State University’s dance team took over the internet with this hip hop dance. If it wasn’t on your TikTok “For You” page for a whole month, then you were on the wrong side of TikTok. The dance, which was choreographed by Carson Rowe and Sammy McFadden, delivered a clear message to the school, who barred them from competing for the first time in 22 years, apparently due to Covid-19 constraints. The outrage that sparked from them missing the competition in the year prior was because even though they weren’t allowed to compete in the national championship competition, they were still tasked at performing at athletic and school events throughout the year. They were even cleared in the summer before, just like the rest of the athletic programs in the school and the SEC conference to be able to play, despite the spike in Covid cases. Instead of having their own season, they were stuck cheering on the rest of LSU’s teams, and they did it all with a smile on their face despite the pain.

A controversy was soon announced that the school was saying the reason they weren’t allowed to compete was because of Covid-19 reasons, but truly it was because they didn’t have enough athletic trainers available for their competition season. It seems highly unlikely that one of the top SEC schools in the nation is understaffed in athletics, so maybe there was another underlying reason that needed to be “kept hush” by the school for publicity reasons. Even after the team gathered 25,000 signatures petitioning for them to be allowed to compete, the school would not budge. Their competition season was ended without even giving them a chance to show off their insane talents.

Then, a year later, it all worked in the end. The hypocrisy that they faced gave them the perfect drive they needed to win nationals. Their dance sent a clear message from the all-girls team, who competed and beat several co-ed teams in their division. The song for the dance had a clear message as well. “Like a Boy”, by Ciara is a women anthem, and for the LSU team to use it was incredibly well-received. It showed that they could do anything as good as a boy could, like perhaps win a national championship like the football team did in 2019. As the girls took to the stage in all white, you could feel the power of every step. Their dance is now going viral on TikTok and is being recreated everyday. The power from the song could be heard throughout the country – and a message of “don’t mess with us”, was sent.

The support that the LSU Tiger Girls received as soon as they stepped off of the stage at Nationals was overwhelming. Schools from across the country lined up outside for a chance to cheer them on and see them in person. It was like a phenomenon in sports we haven’t seen in quite some time, and truly a special event to witness for women in sports.

Isabella Cautero

St. John's '25

Hi! My name is Isabella Cautero and I'm studying journalism at St.John's University in Queens. I love pop-culture, sports, music, movies and so much more. I enjoy playing with my dog in my free time and spending time with my family and loved ones! I'm from Jersey, so my favorite thing to do is go down the shore to my beach house in Cape May!
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