St. Ursula dance team: #5 in the nation

By Christine Holliday

The Dance Team at St. Ursula Academy competed in the UDA National Dance Team Championship, hosted by ESPN and held at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida Jan. 29-31. The Arrow team of two seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen competed in two categories—the Medium Varsity Jazz and Medium Varsity Pom. They competed against 49 other Jazz teams in the preliminary round and made it as far as the semi-finals. They placed fifth in the nation in the Pom competition, after scoring highest in the preliminary round and competing against nine other teams in the final round.

St. Ursula dance members that competed in the U.S. competition included Alexa Miehls, Chandler Riley, Alexa Keith, Caitlin Beak, Molly McGuire, Sarah Torchia, Olivia Hicks, Emma Kalucki, Kate Myers, Abby Reece, Alana Packo, Tori Hicks, Rae Glover, Elizabeth Brenneman and Kylie Ceglio.
St. Ursula dance members that competed in the U.S. competition included Alexa Miehls, Chandler Riley, Alexa Keith, Caitlin Beak, Molly McGuire, Sarah Torchia, Olivia Hicks, Emma Kalucki, Kate Myers, Abby Reece, Alana Packo, Tori Hicks, Rae Glover, Elizabeth Brenneman and Kylie Ceglio.

Coach Morgan Melchert explained that the team prepared for this competition since the summer, with extra practices since December and a marathon practice day on a day when there was no school due to snow. Caitlin Riley, an SUA alumna and former member of the Dance Team at Ohio State University, choreographed the Jazz dance for the national competition, and helped the team prepare for the national competition. Her sister, Chandler, is a senior member of the current team.

The team also competed at the OASSA regional competition on Feb. 7, and qualified for state competition in hip hop, jazz and pom categories. They will compete in Columbus on March 5.