Thank you to everyone for all of your support and interest in the UK dance team during UDA Nationals 2013. We are truly blessed to have such a great support system back home!! This Nationals was absolutely my favorite of the three I have competed at with Kentucky Dance Team. This team was something else and the experiences we had together were completely amazing! I’m sure most of you all heard we received 8th place for our Pom routine and 6th place for our Hip Hop routine!! TOP 10 in the nation!! I think that’s pretty amazing!! We put in such hard work this season and it definitely paid off. The competition this season in both divisions was extremely tough. Teams really brought their A-game this season with great intensity and amazing choreography. The most flattering part of the competition was hearing other teams talk about how amazing Kentucky was this year and how we really brought it. I’m completely honored to be apart of something as great as Kentucky Dance.
Finals morning was a whirlwind. FInals was Sunday and we were to compete in Hip Hop first and then Pom later on. We woke up, put our costumes on, got prepared and took a bus over to the HP Field House. We headed backstage to warm up before going onto the floor. Shortly after a couple of run-throughs, one of our teammates suffered an injury. My coach called in our alternate, Morgan, and she came running to the warm-up area, hopped right into place, warmed up her tricks, and headed backstage with the team. Luckily, she knew the spot she was taking over! It was truly amazing. Our team kept calm and knew everything was going to be alright. We waiting backstage for a couple more teams to perform and then took the stage. UKDT ran out of the UDA castle with confidence and determination to nail our Hip Hop dance. We danced with the best of our ability and left everything on the floor!! Our coaches ran backstage after the performance to congratulate us and celebrate about how great of a performance we gave. We were so excited. When we were through watching the replay backstage, we walked back to the venue. To our surprise we were greeted in a Catwalk by all of our UK Cheerleaders clapping and cheering us on. It was truly one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. We hugged and thanked them so much for coming to support us. It was an emotional time.
The day wasn’t over yet. We still had to get our minds right to perform Pom. We went back to the hotel, relaxed a little, and then got back in the zone to perform. We stretched and warmed up just like we did Hip Hop. This was our last performance of the competition and we were ready to dance with all that we had left. Backstage we huddled up, got each other pumped up, and then took the UDA finals stage once again. We performed as a team and cheered each other on as we danced! Once again, it was a great feeling as we ran off that stage! We watched the replay on the screen and were extremely proud of our performance!
I absolutely love my team and I’m so proud of us this year! Earning top 10 in the nation is especially something to be proud of! Especially with the amount of competition we are up against. We devote our time to Kentucky dance because we love it. We love our teammates and the bond we share, our coaches, the University and sports, and especially getting the opportunity to enjoy dancing on the collegiate level.
Performing at nationals this year was especially important to me because I suffered an injury in the beginning of the school year. In August I broke my ankle. On August 30 I had to get surgery to properly heal my ankle. I have a plate and six screws in my right ankle. I was out of dance a total of three and half months, missing football season, Big Blue Madness, the beginning of basketball season, and a lot of performances and opportunities to dance. I attended every dance practice and performance while I was injured. I was on crutches for two months in a splint and cast, a boot for a while and eventually started walking on my own again in the middle of November. I attended physical therapy twice a week in November and eventually was officially cleared to dance again December 5. It was one of the best days of my life. I was FINALLY able to do what I loved again–it was a long time coming. From there I worked extremely hard to get back to where I was before my injury. Nationals practices were picking up and once finals ended they were every day. I was able to quickly pick skills back up–turning, jumping, and doing tricks again. I kept my eyes on the prize and focused primarily on what I wanted–to dance in both Hip Hop and Pom at UDA Nationals 2013. I was originally only performing in Hip Hop for Nationals and worked my way from not being in Pom, to being an alternate, to eventually being placed in the formation. With determination, persistence, and the will to keep going I was able to accomplish my goals. Looking back at my journey, it is truly amazing and humbling to know I could do it. You really can do whatever you put your mind to. Because of this personal accomplishment, performing at Nationals and UKDT’s placement at Nationals means so much to me.
Thank you for following my version of UKDT’s journey at UDA Nationals 2013. Now you have a little more insight into the lives, performances, and practices of the UK Dance Team. Thank you for BBN’s support throughout Nationals! Thank you to my team, coaches, parents, fans, and more! Special thanks to the UK Cheerleaders for being our biggest fans this season and supporting us at every performance. Congratulations to the UK Cheerleaders for placing second at UCA Nationals 2013!! Their routine was one of a kind!!
If you are interested in watching UDA/UCA Nationals you can watch the Championship Coverage at www.varsity.com. Just type Kentucky in the search bar! UKDT is also performing its Hip Hop routine at the UK vs. LSU game this Saturday, January 26.
Until next year!!