This past January 18th, UDA celebrated its annual National Dance Team Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, where teams from all over the United States and Puerto Rico gathered to showcase their talents and uphold their universities’ names. This year, for the 5th year in a row, our own UPRM Dance Team was able to return and compete against the best teams in the nation in the quest to make “Colegio” shine and also prepare for their Justas competitions in April.
This competition serves as a great outlet to expose their talent. It’s also a growing experience that allows the team to get critique from a panel of highly experienced judges that’ll help them in their preparation for their upcoming competition. The UPRM Dance Team competed in the Open Jazz category, as well as the Open Hip hop category. They competed against about 30 other teams from all over the nation and managed to end up among the top 15 teams in each category. The team didn’t cut through to the finals by just a margin of .21 points, but their Hip-hop performance was a crowd pleaser and has been very positively acclaimed by the public, which proves once more that they’re more than prepared to take on this year’s Justas competition.
Competing at a National level is an experience that not many Puerto Rican dancers get to experience during their lives in college and sadly, not many Puerto Rican teams have the opportunity to compete in this highly prestigious competition; therefore, the fact that our university’s team has had the opportunity to compete and expose themselves to this level is a wonderful accomplishment all on its own.
We asked some of the members of the team to tell us about their first UDA experience and Paulina Hernandez explained how she feels very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to compete in the UDA Nationals this year and she added that it was an amazing experience to represent “Colegio” amidst so many prestigious universities of the states. She also stated that this competition allowed the team to demonstrate the importance of supporting our university’s athletes who are at the verge of losing their scholarships.
Cyd Marie Negron, a freshman in the team, shared that UDA was an extraordinary experience for her and she felt that it was inspiring to see so many hard working dancers in one place with the common goal of representing their alma maters. She explained how the competition was a learning experience and it motivated the team to work even harder.
The Dance Team rehearsed all semester long and all through Christmas break in order to represent our university at the highest level in their field, and they definitely exceeded at what they do best! Now their eyes are set on their Justas competitions that’ll be in April, and they assure that their experience in UDA made them stronger for this next task.