Las Vegas, Nv. – The Transylvania dance team completed their 2019 season with a top-5 finish at the Dance Team Union College Classic National Invitational held in Las Vegas on April 13-14.
The Pioneers entered their 2019 championship competition on Friday and Saturday in the Open Team Performance at Bally's Las Vegas. The 2019 season marked the second consecutive year in which the Pioneers have competed at DTU and their seventh year of national competition overall.
Guided by 14th-year head coach Tora Carter and volunteer assistant coach Katie Harris, the Pioneers began their performance Friday morning, consisting of elements of jazz, pom, and hip-hop.
The final championship event capped off a long year of performances and competitions leading up to the culminating event in Las Vegas.
The dance team started off their season at the "Battle on Broadway" exhibition basketball game at Rupp Arena between the University of Kentucky Wildcats and the Transylvania men's baskeball teams. From there, the dance team participated in various community events including 3K races, community-hosted 3Ks, parades, and local competitions to increase community engagement and improve the team's overall confidence.
"Confidence is something our team has struggled with in the past," stated senior captain Alexis Mitchell. "But we loved our music and our choreography so much and I think that helped us trust each other to give it our all."
The team began the process of learning their routine right after basketball season ended, practicing three times a week with additional training that included ballet and strength training.
Competing against eight other teams in the preliminary round, the Pioneers reeled off a fourth-place showing. "We were in complete shock," said Mitchell. "This placement going into finals reassured us that our confidence had grown with our strong routine and needed to continue this momentum."
Said sophomore co-captain Kristen Hocklander: "Our confidence in ourselves really grew throughout this season. I was so proud of the confidence we performed with."
In the final round on Saturday, the dance team finished off their competition at Las Vegas with a fifth-place finish.
As the Transylvania dance team looks back, they are motivated to work hard in the offseason. "We have already started learning new hip hop tricks and we are so ready to keep moving forward!" stated Hocklander.
To view photos from the performance, click here. https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-jnHhfk/
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