Dance Team Ends Year With Success
By Sullivan Burgess ’20
From April 5 to 7, the Providence College Dance Team made their way down to Daytona Beach, Florida to compete in their second appearance at the 2018 NDA National Championship.
Last year, the Friars made their debut at the 2017 NDA National Championship and outperformed expectations by placing seventh in the country in the jazz category. It was safe to say that the bar was set for this year, and the only way to succeed was to work twice as hard and completely outperform once again.
This was exactly the mindset that coach Claire Creighton had going into Nationals. Creighton, in her third year coaching the team, looked to find a way to exceed the already high expectations for her team. Competing once again in the jazz category and for the first time in the hip-hop portion of the competition, the Friars had to put together two intense, two-minute dances for the events.
After performing for the student body at the Nationals Send-Off in Alumni Hall, the team was ready for whatever Daytona had to offer them. For captain Katie Printer ’18 and co-captain Daniela Roberto ’18, this Nationals was bittersweet. They were both proud of the process they used to get themselves to Nationals, yet sad knowing this would be their last season as dancers for the school.
Knowing this was the last time they would be dancing motivated not only them, but motivated both the captains and their teammates. Despite having the job of pushing the team to their highest potential, the captains made sure to take time to appreciate what they were a part of.
This year’s motto for Nationals was “The work is worth it,” and that is definitely what the Friars used to conquer all that had stepped in their way of achieving their goal of advancing. For the jazz portion of the event, the Friars missed their advancement by just .18 points of qualification. They seemed, however, to find their rhythm in hip-hop.
In the final round of Hip-Hop, the Friars gave it all they had and did not look back. Their performance earned them fifth in the country behind Webster State University, Stephen F. Austin University, Boston University, and Sacred Heart University.
Coach Creighton was more than proud of how the team performed, especially in a new category, at their second time at this competition. Creighton stated, “This not only exceeds our expectations from all the long and dedicated practices each dancer went through, it also makes a name for ourselves to show future dancers that Providence is dedicated to making the most out of the dance team in order to make it the best.”
This team is shaping up to be one of the most elite collegiate dance teams, for in their second time National Championship, they moved on to the finals.
When asked what the next step to improving the already successful team was, Creighton’s response was simply, “Bigger and better.”
Her goals are to make the program much larger, as well as making this passion and strength long-term, as they now prepare for their third Nationals appearance next year.
For the incoming dancers who will soon try out, Printer and Roberto offered strong words of encouragement to future classes. Both stated how all dancers have nothing to lose in trying out, and how being on the team is equivalent to a family, providing constant memories of great practices and fun times all around.