Led by coach Jessica Desz ’13, SJC Long Island’s dance team left for Orlando, Florida, Thursday in hopes of earning the College’s first medal at the UDA College Dance Team National Championship. The 14-member squad will compete Jan. 13-15 at ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World Resort®.
“Each year we set new goals for the season,” Desz said. After receiving the highest national rankings in SJC history last year, placing fifth among NCAA Div. II and III schools in Open Hip Hop and ninth in Open Jazz, the team set ambitious goals for this season’s national competition.
This year we are going to strive to place top five in jazz and top three in hip hop … I believe that these girls will put their heart and soul on the dance floor to accomplish their goals.” — Jessica Desz ’13, head dance coach
The squad spent five days of intersession in hell week — training eight hours a day from Jan. 2 to Jan. 6 — perfecting their routines with team choreographer Theresa Stone, who made her television debut last August as a choreographer on FOX TV’s hit show So You Think You Can Dance. “We focus on both of our dances (hip hop and jazz) during practice and perfect everything. Every day, the girls do cardio to increase their stamina for their dances,” Desz said.
After hell week came to a close, the squad hosted a send-off in the Danzi Athletic Center on Tuesday, where family and friends wished the women good luck before they left for nationals Thursday morning.
The team’s final performance before the national championship was Wednesday during the SJC Long Island men’s basketball team’s home contest against Farmingdale State College.