UND dance team participating in national competition in Florida
Members raised $25,000 since August to fund trip to compete in Universal Dance Association contest in Orlando
GRAND FORKS — The UND dance team is competing in the Universal Dance Association (UDA) College National Competition this weekend at the ESPN Center in Florida.
The 14-member team, which performs at UND volleyball, basketball and football games, will compete against 15 other teams in the Division 1 pom category and 20 teams in the jazz category, said Head Coach Katelin Madsen.
Altogether, 300 teams from throughout the U.S. will be competing in three divisions: Open, Division 1 and Division 1A, Madsen said.
Since August, the UND team members have put in “a lot of hard work” to raise $25,000 to go attend the national competition in Orlando, she said. The fundraising effort has been “fast and furious.” They earned money by cleaning the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center and the Ralph Engelstad Arena, and by selling items such as cookies, pizza and popcorn.
“If you could sell it, we sold it,” Madsen said.
The Panera Bread bakery company here also chipped in 20% of food sales for the cause Tuesday, Jan. 10, if the customer mentioned the UND dance team, she said.
The UND team qualified for nationals by successfully competing in the UDA Spirit of America Dance Championship last weekend in Minneapolis.
The team is partially covered by the UND athletic program, but “it isn’t enough to get you to the competition,” said Madsen, whose assistant coach is Taylor Vasek.
The team last participated in this national competition in 2020, she said.
The majority of the team members are freshmen, but the team also includes members in the other college grade levels.
The team flew to Orlando on Thursday, Jan. 12, and plans to return to Grand Forks on Monday, Jan. 16.