SJC Long Island’s dance team has again qualified to compete at the Universal Dance Association (UDA) College National Championship in Disney World.
The squad, which first competed at the national championship in 2012, will compete in the open jazz and open hip-hop categories against some of the most talented dancers in the United States. Both categories are open to teams at Division II and III schools.
… And it’s About More than Nationals
“These girls don’t stop with just preparing for nationals,” said sixth-year Coach Jessica Desz ’13. “They go to school full time, they have jobs and they perform at men’s and women’s soccer and basketball games, as well as attend fundraisers and community service events.”
The 19-member team recently earned first place for their jazz routine and second place for hip-hop at the season’s final local competition.
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“I am so looking forward to heading down to nationals this year and taking the floor with my teammates,” said Danielle Monteverde ’19, a nursing major and senior captain on the dance team. “We have worked so hard with both our jazz and hip-hop dances, and I feel that we have never been more prepared to meet the challenges that face us at nationals. I am so proud of how far we have come as a team, and I hope St. Joseph’s can leave its mark at nationals.”
Accomplishments of Nationals Past
The Golden Eagles dance team made program history in 2016, qualifying as finalists at the national championship in both the jazz and hip-hop categories for the first time. Monteverde was a freshman on the team, with the St. Joe’s ladies finishing fifth in hip-hop and ninth in jazz.
“The talent on the team this year is the best St. Joseph’s College has ever experienced,” said Desz, who has been with the dance team either as a competitor or a coach since her freshman year in 2009. “These girls are dedicated and continue to get ready each practice to take the floor at nationals. I know they will dance their hearts out on the stage next weekend and give it their all.”
Be sure to come by the Danzi Athletic Center on Monday, Jan. 14, at 7:15 p.m. to wish the team good luck before they head off to nationals! They will perform at 7:30 p.m.