Dance teams journey to nationals in Orlando

X-Calibur performed their pom and jazz routines at the Friends & Family event. They finished 5th for both dances at Nationals.

Megan Overbey, Writer

Every year Carlsbad’s nationally ranked dance teams, the Lancer Dancers and Xcalibur, fly to Orlando, Florida to compete at UDA’s national competition. ESPN Wide World of Sports hosted the competition on Jan. 29-31, welcoming over 100 teams to compete their best routines.

In preparation for their competition, both Lancer Dancers and Xcalibur showcased their dances at their annual friends and family event on Saturday, Jan. 23.

“It’s a great time where we can showcase all of our nationals routines,” senior Gigi Behun said. “Lancer Dancers performed our hip-hop and jazz routines, while Xcalibur performed their pom and jazz numbers. It’s awesome because we get to show all of our friends and family what we’ve been practicing for so long.”

Usually putting on two separate events, this year, the two teams decided to unite and host the event together.

“This year we performed with Xcalibur which was really fun because we got to perform in front of their friends and family and vice versa, it really brought our teams together,” Behun said.

Many members of the community and the dance team members’ family are eager to see the nationally ranked teams new routines, but this special performance also benefits the dancers.

“The friends and family performance gives us an audience to practice with as well as gives us a sense of confidence going into nationals,” sophomore Sherrie Yasukochi said. “We also get to wear our costumes and make sure that everything runs smoothly.”

Being that UDA nationals is their biggest competition of the year, a great amount of practice and preparation is required to ensure success.

“We had long practices Wednesday through Saturday to prepare both of our nationals routines,” Behun said. “We also had various people come in and help us, like alumni and other recognized choreographers that really helped us improve our routines.”

Representing Carlsbad, both dance teams aim to give their best performances possible.

“We hope to do our personal best and leave it all out on the dance floor, we are honored to be representing Carlsbad on a national stage,” Yasykochi said.