Lancer Dancers take home a victory

At the Universal Dance Association (UDA) competition in Orlando, Florida, the Carlsbad Lancer Dancers performed over the weekend of Feb. 3-5.

The Lancer Dancer team returned to Carlsbad after being placed in first in the Medium Varsity Hip Hop competition and third place for the Medium Varsity Jazz competition.

“Winning first and third place was a feeling I will never be able to explain,” senior Delena Cruz said. “Knowing all of our hard work and the countless hours of practice had payed off, it was the most rewarding feeling.”

The Lancer Dancer team has repeatedly won the UDA National Championship in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012. After a five year gap, the dancers took home a championship win for the 2017 competition.

“I would not say there was one thing that made us win,” junior Sherrie Yasukochi said. “This year our choreography set us apart but it definitely took an insane amount to time, commitment, preparation and trust in each other and our coach in order to climb back up to the top.”

A national championship win doesn’t come without time and effort. The Lancer Dancers dedicate every week day to practice to train both physically and mentally in order to dance cohesively as a team to prepare for competition season.

“A typical practice would include a quote and a goal for that practice, a warm up along with 30 minutes of cardio,” Cruz said. “Then there is six hours of cleaning and fixing up the dance and going through all the details.”

With the amount of time the Lancer Dancers spend with each other working as a team, it helps create a bond with each other. The airport travels and late hotel nights with the team on a cross country trip create lasting memories with each other.

“The team bonding is always a lot of fun, our coach takes our phones away for the majority of the day so we can spend time with each other and make memories,” Cruz said. “It’s honestly so much fun just being in the moment and creating so many memories with your closest friends.”

The Lancer Dancer team welcomed nine new members this season. Working hard with each other both on the dance floor and off, the team was prepared for one of the most prestigious competition within their dance careers.

“The second we arrived at the competition, the pressure really sets in,” Yasukochi said. “Our team really focused on trusting our preparation and doing the best we could.”

The victory from the competition will carry through to next year as the team will have standards and expectations of themselves, as well as confidence from the win.

“It is hard to put into words, it is truly an indescribable feeling,” Yasukochi said. “It is something the team and I will never forget. It has been five years since we won this division, and with the nine new members it made the victory so much more rewarding.”