Making a splash in Daytona Beach
Iowa Central Community College Dance team brings home hardware from Nationals
The Iowa Central Community College Dance Team spent the first weekend of April in Daytona Beach, Florida, competing against college teams from across the country at the National Dance Alliance Nationals April 5-9.
“We are a performance and competitive-based dance team,” said head coach Cassidy Vermeer. “We have 25 girls on the team this semester, so we have a large team.”
The Triton Dancers were able to take three routines to Nationals this year, marking the first time in 13 years of competing that they’ve been able to take the whole team to compete on the national stage, Vermeer said.
“We were able to take all 25 girls to compete at nationals,” she said. “That was a first for us and we are excited that we could give all of them that opportunity to compete on the national stage.”
Teams qualify for Nationals by attending and competing at a dance camp over the summer, Vermeer said. The teams must receive a bid to compete. The Tritons have been invited to compete at Nationals since 2008, Vermeer said.
“It’s a huge eye-opener because they’re some of the best of the best and the biggest that compete at this national competition,” she said.
The Tritons took routines for Hip Hop, Open Pom and Spirit Rally. Because entries vary from year to year, the dancers never know if they’ll be competing against other junior colleges, or if they’ll be facing NCAA Division III, NCAA Division II or NAIA colleges, Vermeer said.
“It is one of the largest collegiate dance and cheer nationals, so it’s a very large event in general,” she said.
In the Open Pom division this year, there were six teams that included junior colleges, DIII colleges and NAIA colleges, she said. In that competition, the Tritons placed second, just behind Blinn College from Brenham, Texas.
In Hip Hop, the Tritons finished fourth out of six junior college teams.
“We competed against some bigger schools in Hip Hop,” Vermeer said. “Each year that changes and you never know what challenges we’ll see at Nationals.”
Spirit Rally was a new division this year and the Tritons finished third.
“It’s more of a game day-type routine,” Vermeer said.
They competed against University of Texas – Dallas and Central Methodist University.
“It’s a huge honor to even be competing on such an elite level with some of the best and the biggest universities and their dance teams,” Vermeer said. “It’s a huge honor just that our program has grown that much and it has excelled that much. I was very, very proud.”