Lancer Dancers bringing home the win


Carlsbad High School’s Varsity Dance Team came back from Florida last weekend with new experiences, memories and a national championship title. Three of the 16 dancers that invest a vast majority of their time into high school dance, senior Ella Pines, junior Lily Dodge and freshman Maddie Shaffer, share their experiences at the new venue filled with new competition.

The actual area that the competition took place at differed in many aspects in comparison to the venue in years past. The old competition was put on by Universal Dance Association and the new competition was put on by Dance Team Union. The team stayed at the Gaylord Palms, the hotel and convention center that held the competition.

“The hotel was super nice in comparison to my past years,” Dodge said. “I loved how big it was, even though we got lost quite a few times. Also it was super cool and convenient that we could walk to the competition because in past years we had to take a bus to the competition.”

Although the new venue included convenience, some of the girls were missing the grand scene of the previous competition stage, the ESPN World Wide of Sports Center in Disney World. The Disney World location included many stages and was filled with camera men and interviewers from ESPN which adds extra nerves to the competition.

“Although the location this year was super nice and close to our hotel rooms, I did miss the nerves that come with being interviewed by real reporters and practicing in the intense atmosphere of the old venue,” Pines said.

The setting may not have been an extremely stressful atmosphere, but the competition did not waver. In fact, the team was brought together with their old competitors from the past years that had switched competitions a few years prior.

“My whole freshman year when we were preparing for nationals, I remember the whole team was so motivated by the team Westmoore that had beaten us in the years before I was on the team,” Dodge said. “When we got to nationals my freshman year and actually beat them it was the best feeling knowing the work paid off. I was pretty sad when they left that competition because we didn’t have the same rivalry, I guess you could call it, to push us through the hard practice.”

The increase of competition actually excited the team as through the weekend. They said that having the other team there motivated them to work extra hard in all hours of the weekend.

“It was super fun having them there,” Dodge said. “It was such good motivation and competition to have all weekend.”

Coming back with success, the team won first in hip hop and second in jazz. Everyone on the team was so proud and excited to come home and share their win with the community.

“Winning as a freshman was an amazing feeling,” Shaffer said. “I’m so proud of my team and am feeling extra excited to come back in the following years. I’m already feeling motivated to practice and be even more prepared next year.”