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Westfield State Competitive Dance Team making School History at 2022 UDA National Dance Competition: Captains Insight

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Westfield State Dance Team placed 4th in the nation this past week at the UDA College Nationals in Orlando Florida at the ESPN Worldwide Sports Complex.

Last time the team went to Disney was in 2020 and placed 11th in the nation.

At the beginning of the fall semester the team was not even sure if they were able to compete due to the ongoing pandemic. Westfield Faculty gave the team the approval and the team came to practice, 2 times a week for the next ten days before nationals.

“All of the late-night zoom practices, the fear of the unknown, practicing when we did not even know if we would be able to go to nationals, finally paid off. I have not stopped smiling since” Brianna Legere said.

Picture of the team holding up the number 5 at the ESPN Globe to mark their accomplishment at Semi-Finals

The team this year according to the captains only had 5 returning girls from previous year and only 4 of them have been on the national’s stage. So, 14 out of 18 girls have never been on that Nationals stage before.

“I was not nervous at all about having new members of the team hit the stage. Once we arrived in Florida, newer members were asking to have late night practices to better ourselves for competing in the upcoming days” Emily Walden said.

Captains made sure to support the team’s mental health during this time with this sport. Their goal was to keep everyone calm and collected once they hit that stage

According to the Westfield State Dance Team page, the team placed 5th at Semi Finals out of 11 teams. Which led them to compete in Finals the next day.

Picture of the team smiling after finding out that they made it to Finals

Later that night, after having practice mat and performing at Semi-Finals the girls continued to push through their hard work and had practice outside of the hotel.

“That practice, after competing at semis, being up since 7am took us from being an underdog team to other teams now looking at us as equal competition. It pushed us to make a name for ourselves, for our school, and helped us set a program record” Brianna Legere said.

All the girls on the team displayed extreme dedication and held each other accountable as dancers. Which the captains believed pushed them to want to place higher and believe this program can even break more school records in the future.

Picture of the team with their coaches celebrating their 4th place spot in the nation

The Westfield State Competitive Dance Team ended the night with a big celebration at Block Party in Magic Kingdom, where the park is shut down for dancer and cheerleaders to have fun and celebrate all their hard work.

For the rest of the trip the team conquered all the parks before coming back to start school.

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