DAZZLERS TRIUMPH IN UDA NATIONALS

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DAZZLERS TRIUMPH IN UDA NATIONALS

The  Seminole Dazzlers performed in the UDA National Dance Team Championship.

The Seminole Dazzlers performed in the UDA National Dance Team Championship.

Caitlyn Drazen

The Seminole Dazzlers performed in the UDA National Dance Team Championship.

Caitlyn Drazen

Caitlyn Drazen

The Seminole Dazzlers performed in the UDA National Dance Team Championship.

Malavika Kannan, Reporter

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On Jan. 30th- Feb. 1st, Seminole High School’s renowned Dazzlers were ready to high-kick, twirl, and pirouette into victory at the UDA National Dance Team Championship. The competition was held at Walt Disney World’s Resort, and the Dazzlers competed against notable dance teams from all over the country.

“[Nationals] is important to us because it’s where we earn our titles. We’ve always [competed] here and done well,” says JV Dazzler Anna Cannavino, a sophomore.

The Dazzlers dominated the Florida Regionals, held in Disney on Jan. 18th. Their performance qualified them to compete in the Nationals later this month. The Dazzlers are looking forward to the new challenge.

“We [were] motivated to learn from the judges’ comments [in Regionals] and [to] improve our routines for UDA Nationals,” says choreographer and coach Maureen Maguire.

The Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity dance teams practiced from November up until the competition to perfect the two dances that each team performed. “In JV, we’ve been working hard on a high kick routine and pom routine, which are very high energy dances,” says Cannavino.

In the competition, dancers were divided based on their age, whether they are JV or Varsity, and their style of dance: kick, pom, jazz/lyrical, and hip-hop. “Dancers are ranked according to scores in their style of dance,” says Maguire. “We compete against other varsity teams.”

To prepare, the Dazzlers put in long hours of work in order to fine-tune the routines that they presented. The dancers spend two class periods each day dancing, in addition to multiple after-school practices. “We have been working since June to perfect our work,” says Cannavino.

This is not the Dazzlers’ first year competing. According to Maguire, they have competed every year since the UDA competition began in 2008, and have established a tradition of bringing home awards. They have won in the Kick divisions every year, with high ranks in Jazz and Pom as well.

The JV team finished 10th in the Pom category, and the Varsity finished 4th in the Jazz category. Both teams secured a first place win in the Kick category for the fifth year in a row.

“These Dazzlers represented their school and themselves with a lot of Seminole pride. They spent countless hours in practice and their dedication, perseverance and teamwork was evident on the competition floor,” says Maguire.

The event started with performances beginning Saturday 8:00 am in four different venues and didn’t finish until 10:00 pm on Sunday.

“Dancing makes us determined. It gives us work ethic, something to work for,” says Cannavino. “I love performing, and it’s fun at the end to know that our hard work paid off.”

After a successful performance in the UDA Regionals, the Dazzlers competed with teams from across the country in the UDA Nationals, upholding a legacy of Seminole excellence for the fifth  year in a row.

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