January 29, 2014
Editor's note: The CSB dance team successfully defended its national championship Jan. 19 in the Open Class Pom Division at the 2014 Universal Dance Association (UDA) College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. CSB senior Molly Reger, a captain of the football performance dance team, accompanied the competition team and wrote this reflection.
By Molly Reger '14
Orlando, Fla., is the home of Cinderella's castle and the place where dreams come true, especially the dreams of the Saint Ben's dance team.
As team members boarded the plane to head for the competition, they hoped to defend their 2013 national championship title and bring home another trophy. As a captain of the football performance team, I was privileged to travel with the competition team to college nationals.
For me, college nationals is sensory overload. There are dancers spinning and cheerleaders flipping in every direction. Listen closely and you hear the sounds of faint chants and the repeated counts of "5,6,7,8." The air is filled with the scent of hairspray and the intensity of fierce competition.
At the preliminary competition, one of our dancers told me something that put the competition into perspective. In recent years a California team from Orange Coast College has been notorious for taking home the Open Pom title each year. This year, Taylor Berry, CSB sophomore, told me, "It's a weird feeling having OCC look at us and feel intimidated. Before last year we were never on their radar."
Last year, CSB was new to the Pom Division; this year they were the team to watch.
When the team captains, CSB junior Tori Grootwassink and senior Kelsey Novak, revealed the scores from the preliminary competition, CSB was seeded No. 1 in the Pom Division heading into finals. The team was ecstatic, but Novak and Grootwassink were quick to keep the women grounded, informing them that scores were close and competition was fierce.
When the women took the stage for their final performance it was clear that they were in it for each other. They were a team. Every hour of practice and preparation came down to just two minutes on stage. The women graced the stage with confidence, poise and energy. Their passion convinced the audience that these women were fighting for their title.
Although these women will soon have flashy championship rings to display, their work ethic and humble nature will not be forgotten.