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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

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The UND Dance Team, shown here at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, will compete during the Universal Dance Association College National Competition on Friday-Sunday, Jan. 13-15, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.
Photo by Russ Hons
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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.

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The UND Dance Team, photographed at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, is competing in the Division 1 pom and jazz categories in the Universal Dance Association College Nationals in Orlando, Florida.
Photo by Dani Thompson

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.

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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.

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The UND Dance Team, shown here in a practice session at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, qualified for the UDA national competition by its performance at the UDA Spirit of America Dance Championship last weekend in Minneapolis.
Photo by Dani Thompson

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.

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Members of the UND Dance Team perform during an event in late December 2022 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on the UND campus.
Photo by Nick Nelson

The team last participated in this national competition in 2020, she said.

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Since August, members of the UND Dance Team raised $25,000 in order to participate in the Universal Dance Association National College Competition on Friday-Sunday, Jan. 13-15, 2023 in Florida.
Photo by Russ Hons

The majority of the team members are freshmen, but the team also includes members in the other college grade levels.

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The UND Dance Team perform a routine in late December at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on the UND campus.
Photo by Nick Nelson

The team flew to Orlando on Thursday, Jan. 12, and plans to return to Grand Forks on Monday, Jan. 16.

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Jessica Sandberg, a member of the UND Dance Team, performs with pom poms at a UND athletic event.
Photo by Russ Hons
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Members of the UND Dance Team entertain the crowd in late December 2022 at The Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Photo by Nick Nelson
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Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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