In Training: Full of Spirit
Three top collegiate dance teams
Becoming a dance major isn’t the only way to continue dancing in college. Dance teams offer jazz and hip-hop dancers an option that’s fun and social, but still demanding. The by-audition groups regularly perform at football and basketball games, do community outreach and compete with top dancers from across the nation, often working with professional choreographers and building their own dancemaking and leadership skills. —Suzannah Friscia
A UNLV Rebel Girl takes the floor at a basketball game. Photo by Daniel Ward, Courtesy University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
: Rebel Girls
No. of members
: Pom and hip hop
: Sixteen hours of practice and three hours of strength and conditioning a week. They also focus on jazz, hip hop and flexibility during training.
: Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo choreograph the hip-hop routine each year, and professionals from shows on the Las Vegas strip work with the dancers. The team attends dance team professional intensives in Vegas to gather material for games.
: At the UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the team has placed in the top five in Division 1A hip hop for the past six years, including first place in 2013, and placed in the top three in pom and hip hop for the past three years. Rebel Girls is the official dance team for the USA Olympic basketball team’s Las Vegas game, and has performed on “America’s Got Talent.”
- UNLV offers a BFA in dance performance/choreography and a dance production and management BA.
University of Minnesota
: University of Minnesota Dance Team
No. of members
: Jazz and pom
: Practice is three to four nights a week, with extra rehearsals before sporting events or Nationals. Turn and leap technique, ballet and strength training are also incorporated into practice.
: Karl Mundt, owner and director of Innovate Dance, and choreographer Dan Sapp set the team’s jazz and pom routines.
: UMDT took first in Division 1A pom for the past six years, and has nine Division 1A jazz titles. It has represented as Team USA Dance at the International Cheer Union World Cheerleading Championship in Orlando twice.
- University of Minnesota offers a BFA and a BA in dance.
University of Cincinnati
UC Dance Team
No. of members:
Pom and hip hop
Three to four days of practice per week—more during Nationals season. Ballet, contemporary, strength training and conditioning are also incorporated.
Guests like Josh Ulep and Liam Soares, from the Academy of Hype and The Headquarters in Honolulu, and commercial artist Laura Edwards have set hip-hop routines.
The team has six Division 1A hip-hop national titles. It’s also won gold in pom, jazz and hip hop at the International Cheer Union World Cheerleading Championship, and has competed in China.
- University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music offers a BFA in ballet.